10 tidy tips to help you spring clean your finances

Spring flowers

You might see spring cleaning as donning the marigolds, opening the windows, and sweeping out the dust that’s accumulated over winter.

But, while you’re freshening up your home, why not declutter and tidy up your finances too?

A lot can build up over time. So, if it’s been a while since you reviewed your finances, you might be surprised at what’s hiding in your paperwork.

Plus, regularly monitoring your finances could help keep you on track to meet your financial goals.

Read on for 10 tips to help you spring clean your finances and get more organised.

1. Review your budget

Your budget is the foundation of your financial health, so it might be a good idea to put it at the top of your spring cleaning list.

You could start by looking at where you’re spending money. Are you staying within your spending limits? Can you identify any areas where you could cut back? Answering these questions may help you align your spending with your financial goals.

Regularly reviewing your budget in this way could ensure that it still meets your needs if your circumstances change, for example, if you receive a pay rise or take out a mortgage.

You might want to consider marking a date on the calendar each month for a budget health check. This may allow you to spot if you’re veering off course so you can swiftly take action to get your finances back on track.

2. Declutter your subscriptions and memberships

Many people set and forget subscriptions and memberships, which can easily add up over time. From streaming platforms, to magazines, it’s easy to sign up to regular payments for a whole range of services. 

Perhaps you’ve been tempted by an incredible introductory offer or free trial, then forgotten to cancel before paid membership kicks in?

Over time, these regular costs can add up, eating into your budget and leaving you with less money to spend, save, and invest each month. This could make it harder for you to achieve your financial goals.

So, this spring, consider decluttering and reducing your monthly commitments. Check you’re not paying for subscriptions you no longer use and review how much value you’re getting from others. Thinking about your “wants” and “needs” might help you decide what to cancel and what to keep.

3. Organise your paperwork and digital files

You probably have a lot of financial paperwork to keep track of – annual pension statements, receipts, bank statements, tax documents, guarantees, mortgage information, and so on.

Organising your files could help you access information quickly and easily when you need it. An organised filing system could also reduce the risk of missing an important financial date, such as the annual self-assessment deadline.

Putting things in order may also help you monitor your savings and investments, allowing you to identify opportunities to grow your wealth further.

Some helpful tips include:

  • Using labelled folders for paperwork
  • Backing up files securely on the cloud
  • Shredding or deleting documents you’re certain you don’t need anymore.

Some documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, and copies of wills, are worth hanging on to. Others, such as household bills and bank statements, you may only need to keep for a few years. When it comes to tax-related paperwork like payslips, HMRC suggests keeping them for at least 22 months from the end of the tax year they relate to[1].

Find out how Aspira’s personal finance portal could help you store and organise your financial records in one place.

4. Clean up your bank accounts

You might have opened your current and savings accounts many years ago. So, it’s worth checking that they still meet your needs.

Your bank or building society’s offer may have changed since you joined, and your financial situation might be different too.

So, it’s worth shopping around periodically to see if you could get a better deal, a higher interest rate on your savings, or an app with features that better suit your needs, for example.

5. Set up automated savings

Most banks offer the option to automate your savings and it’s usually easy to set up online or through a mobile app.

You might want to consider “paying yourself first” each month. By setting up a recurring transfer from your salary to your savings account, you could build a lucrative savings habit.

Additionally, making use of “round up” features could help you save. Every time you spend, your banking app will round up the amount to the nearest pound and pay the difference into your savings account.

Automating your finances can be a clever way to reduce the temptation to overspend and make regular saving an effortless habit.

6. Check your emergency fund

Experts recommend keeping three to six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund to cover unexpected costs.

However, you might want to consider your personal circumstances and lifestyle preferences to help you decide on an amount that provides the peace of mind you need.

A financial spring clean offers an ideal opportunity to check you have enough in your fund or top it up if you’ve had to dip into it.

7. Review your debts

With interest rates remaining higher for longer the cost of borrowing could be slowing your progress towards your financial goals.   

If you have multiple debts, it might be worth consolidating these into one lower-interest-rate loan. However, this isn’t the right choice for everyone.

A financial planner can help you work out if consolidating your debts will pay off in the end or if you’re better off chipping away at each one individually.

It might also be wise to review how much you’re paying off each month. If you prioritise paying off debts with a higher interest rate you could potentially pay less interest and clear your debts faster. You can then focus on saving and investing your money.

8. Optimise your pensions savings

Pensions are a tax-efficient way to save, so you might want to consider paying more than the minimum contributions to optimise your savings.

According to research by Aviva millions of people in the UK are “triple defaulters” who never update their contributions, investment choices, or target retirement age[2]. And yet, regularly reviewing your pensions and making even small changes could boost your pension funds by thousands of pounds.

As part of your spring clean, you could ask a financial planner to help you review your pensions and align these with your financial goals.

9. Review your financial protection

Your insurance and protection needs may change over time.

Regularly reviewing your cover could ensure that you’ll be adequately protected if something unexpected happens.

Think about who you want to provide for, how long they’re likely to need support and how you’d like your insurance to pay out.

10. Check in with your financial planner

There’s a lot to review and consider when doing a financial spring clean.

A financial planner can make sure you don’t miss anything important and help ensure your plans align with your short-, medium-, and long-term financial goals.

Get in touch

If you’d like to find out about all the ways we can help ensure your finances are spick and span, please get in touch.

Please email us at info@aspirafp.co.uk or call us on 01454 632 495.

Please note

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Aspira and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation for any investment or retirement strategy.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. 

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates, and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts.  

[1] https://www.gov.uk/keeping-your-pay-tax-records/how-long-to-keep-your-records/

[2] https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2023/10/rise-of-the-triple-defaulter-who-set-and-forget-their-pension-choices/

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