Time to Spruce Up Your Spending?

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This time of year is the perfect time to start thinking about your spending and how you can start afresh. Whether you’re struggling under the burden of debt, you’re a bit of a shopaholic, or you simply want to give your financial life a spring clean (yes, I know it’s still winter) here are a few things to consider:

Review the Past Year

Now, or in the coming weeks, find a window to sit down and review your spending over the past year or so. Look at your bank and credit card statements, peruse any receipts you have, take stock of new additions to your home and wardrobe, and identify any areas where you’ve been overspending and could potentially cut back.

Set Goals

Then, set yourself a goal. It could be anything from spending $50 less on clothing each month to saving $100 into an emergency fund every payday. It doesn’t matter what your goals are as long as they’re sensible and achievable with a little financial savvy.

Create a Budget

To help you meet your goals and clean up your sloppy spending ways, creating a budget that maps out your spending for you is a very good idea. There are lots of resources online, and apps for that will help you with this.

Sort Out Your Credit Cards

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If you have credit cards, it’s time to sort them out. First of all, if you have debt that’s accruing interest, change that by applying for a zero percent balance transfer card. Then, take a look at a range of credit cards for average credit to see if you could be getting a better deal in terms of interest and credit card benefits. If you could, make the switch. Of course, if you have a real problem with overspending on your plastic, then you might just want to cut up your cards completely and focus on paying off as much of your debt as you can (you should always be doing that anyway).

Keep Score

It is possible to check your credit score for free, and this is something that you should aim to do at least once a month, just so you can keep on top of your spending and ensure that you’re managing all of your debts as effectively as you possibly could. Having a good credit score is the key to getting lower interest financial products and keeping more money in your bank, so this is really important.

Speak to a Financial Adviser

If after looking over your financial situation, you find that you’re in much more trouble than you thought and you’re struggling to see a way out of it, it’s always worth speaking to a good financial adviser or debt counselor who will be able to help you find a way through your spending problems for a brighter financial future.

The bottom line: Taking control of your finances is the key to a better financial life. Do that, however difficult it may be, and you will gain mastery of your money now and forever.

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