Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Budget

by David Sung

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home anymore. Take control of your finances and focus on cleaning up your expenses to keep a little extra money in your pocket in 2013. Because just like extra closet space, a little bit can go a long way to keeping everything in order.

Correcting Your Tax Status

If you are one of the many people that do their own taxes, good for you! That’s already a great way to save money. But it is worth the time to have them reviewed by someone else. Once you’ve finally finished all of the forms and it’s time to double-check your work, you may be glassy-eyed.  Have a friend who is knowledgeable about the process take a look with a fresh set of eyes. You may be surprised at the minor or even major details that you may have missed that could end up as costly errors.

Analyzing Bank Fees

Make sure you review your bank statement thoroughly. Keep an eye out for any extra charges such as checking or ATM fees. There are many banks that offer accounts that have no additional fees. While small fees may not seem like much initially, they can add up and you’ll be sorely missing that cash if you find yourself on a tight budget between paychecks.

Car Maintenance

Not everyone is a gearhead, but that’s no excuse for neglecting your vehicle. Continually putting off basic maintenance could leave you in a world of hurt if it breaks permanently. You should familiarize yourself with the basics - checking and replacing oil, replacing the air filter, and checking your tires’ inflation and condition.  Dirty air filters and underinflated tires can drastically reduce your gas mileage. Old oil can result in an irreparable engine, and poor tires can lead to a blowout, which can have a much more tragic outcome.

Shop Smart for Groceries

There are many expensive pitfalls when it comes to shopping mainly buying the name brand options when the store brand is just as suitable.  Next time you visit the grocery store, make a note on your list of how much the name brand item was, and how much you could have saved with the store brand. Once you’re finished shopping, go back through the list and add up the total possible savings. If the amount doesn’t have you running back to swap items out, just imagine how much you’ll be paying for the next month or years.

These are just a few easy tips to help get your budget on track this spring. If you have some of your own money saving tips, post them here!  

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