*First National Community Bank’s blog does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, investment or other professional advice. Recipients should consult their professional advisors for advice.
It’s March and spring is in the air. Many of us use this time to spring clean our homes but springtime is also a good time to give your finances a thorough cleaning as well. As springtime is several months after the pricey gift buying, budget stretching holiday season and right before the summer season that often includes costly items such as vacations, back to school preparations, etc., First National Community Bank has outlined 4 key spring cleaning tips for your finances.
- Do a “Sweep” Of Your Monthly Budget
Spring is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your monthly budget and do a “sweep” to identify any weak spots. With the increase in holiday spending and bills hopefully paid off and monthly expenditures back to normal come springtime, reviewing your spending habits from the last few months is a good idea to move things in a positive direction. By doing a sweep of your budget, you can identify where you can cut back, how you can save more and which categories you are allotting the most money to in order to see if there is room to scale back. Once you have reviewed your monthly budget, choose one or two areas to trim. Make it as foolproof as possible by implementing steps such as the money envelope system, in which cash is placed into an envelope with the item that it is to be spent on and the total clearly noted on the outside of the envelope. Once the cash in the envelope for that item is gone, no more spending!
- Dust Off Your W-4
Every year you should take a look at your W-4 to ensure that you are not overpaying in taxes throughout the year. While a large tax return is usually welcomed, it actually means that you have essentially given the government an interest free loan, instead of it earning more for you. It is much better to use those funds to start investing, create or add to an existing emergency fund, save for vacation or to buy a home.
- Get Rid Of Your Debt
Getting rid of debt is one of the best ways to spring clean. While you toss those old winter clothes and outdated home décor items, consider getting rid of your debt as well. Start by making an actionable plan. For example, start small with the debt with the smallest balance to be paid off first and then work your way up to your larger bills by doubling payments with the extra money you are saving each month on the debts that you have just paid off. Keep going until every bill is gone. It might take until next spring, but eventually, you’ll be rid of your debt.
- Bring Home The Savings
Daylight isn’t the only thing you should be saving this Spring. Once you’ve evaluated your spending habits and cut down on your spending you will be taking home a larger check each payday. This is a great way to build your savings with money that was previously not missed. You can add to an existing personal savings account, start a new one, open a Certificate of Deposit or start investing. There are many great options to choose from to help build your savings. Also, by setting up direct deposit, your money can automatically be transferred from your checking account to your new savings account allowing you set it and forget it.
This spring, freshen up your finances so they will be in tip top shape for summer and beyond! As your locally owned community bank of choice, the success of your financial future is top of mind. We offer Personal Checking Accounts, Money Market, Personal Savings Accounts, CDs, IRAs, Business Loans, Mortgages and Personal Loans of all shapes and sizes and much more! To learn more about First National Community Bank’s financial solutions, contact us here.