Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Cleaning: Clutter and Finances

Spring Cleaning|Clutter & FinancesSome of my favorite bloggers have apparently been feeling Spring-y lately. Several of them have posted about Spring cleaning. I'm jumping on the band wagon today with A Slob Comes Clean and The Heavy Purse.

Every Spring I go through the same thing: the itch to get outside and get some flowers, shrubs, etc planted. However, I do not get the Spring cleaning bug. So why am I talking about Spring cleaning? I decided to  talk about it in case some of you are needing inspiration to tackle Spring cleaning in your homes.

Most people think of Spring cleaning as a time to move the furniture you usually vacuum around, and clean in those hard-to-reach places, like under the bed. While that is all fine and dandy, I like to think of Spring as a time of freshness and renewal with all new plants and baby animals.

In the spirit of a new and fresh start, maybe you should think about giving not only your home, but your finances and your clutter a once-over.

Financial Spring Cleaning:
  • Review your investments and savings:
    • Do you have an emergency fund? Not everyone agrees on the need for these, but I'm a believer in them, especially if you are trying to get out of debt and do not want to use your credit cards.
    • Are you investing in your employer-offered retirement plan, if available? Again, not everyone thinks investing in retirement while paying off debt is a good idea. My employer has a great match program and there's no where else I can double my money this easily. If you are investing, you should review the amount you are investing and also the funds in which you are investing.
  • After your taxes are completed, you should review your with holdings. Did you have to pay in to either your state or the federal government? If so, maybe you should consider increasing your with holdings. I am not a big fan of having a HUGE refund, but I'd rather have a small refund than have to pay in. Since I had to pay in to the state, I am increasing my state with holdings.
  • Review your monthly bills. Can you negotiate with any of your service providers for a lower rate? Make sure to do this tactfully for the best results. You should also consider attempting asking you creditors for lower interest rates. This is something I will be doing soon as well.
Clearing Clutter for a new Season:
  • As you perform your Spring cleaning routine, think about taking a few extra minutes (or as long as you need) to look through each of the drawers, closets, etc in the room you are cleaning. You can either glance through looking specifically for clutter, or you can go a step further by taking everything out, sorting and re-organizing. This is also a good time to clean the shelves and drawers of dust, dirt, and crumbs that may have appeared throughout the year (or years, no judgement here!).
  • Consider having a garage sale. Sales in my area start mid to late April and continue through early Summer. I am having a garage sale this year and have already started accumulating stuff for the sale.
  • Not a garage sale person? Consider donating and recycling your clutter items. You should only put garbage in the garbage. Please consider donating and recycling before throwing items away to the landfill, its better for the environment.
If these sound like big tasks, you can do them a little at a time over the course of your Spring cleaning, or you can even do them throughout the whole year rather than just during Spring.

Are you doing any Spring cleaning this year?

Note: If you are interested in guest-posting at Shoeaholicnomore, email me at shoeaholicnomore[at]gmail[dot]com!


At April 2, 2014 at 3:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention. Now is definitely a great time to sprain clean your home and finances. We're finishing up taxes so that's my top priority right now. Then maybe I'll tackle some cleaning. We end donating most of our things or give to people we know who could use our things, especially the girls' old clothes.

At April 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Taxes are definitely important to be finishing up :) I am having a garage sale this year, not sure I'm excited about it but that's another story, and afterwards will be donating everything that is left over.

At April 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous Mel @ brokeGIRLrich said...

I used to love garage sale season when I was younger. Our whole street would have a giant garage sale. I always felt like a millionaire when I made like... $6 off my old toys when I was little. Man, if only $6 still made me feel that way :P

At April 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM , Anonymous KK@ Student Debt Survivor said...

I'm going to do some literal spring cleaning this weekend. I also need to give the dog a bath. As for my finances I'm going to look into a few more retirement savings options. I'll be getting a raise at the end of the month and I really should be saving more in my retirement. Right now I'm at 7% and I'd like to be at 15% of my gross income.

At April 2, 2014 at 9:44 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

KK- I need to do some literal spring cleaning too... :( I hate cleaning. My dogs also need baths. Good for you for reviewing your retirement options. I save 7 or 8% and with my employer's portion its about 15%. I'm lucky they have a great program.

At April 2, 2014 at 9:46 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

It was so much more fun to shop garage sales than it is to have one :( They are a ton of work. I do remember when $5-6 seemed like a fortune, I wish money went further these days...

At April 3, 2014 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Amanda Simple said...

I've definitely been doing lots of spring cleaning all around! Not only does the house look a lot cleaner, but soon enough the yard, and hopefully my schedule will become a lot more clear cut. With regular paychecks now, I'm planning on getting much more regulated with my finances, which will make my life a lot easier.

At April 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Amanda, That's great! Keep up the progress :)


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