Open those windows, dust off those crevices, and declutter that closet, because it is officially spring time. And while that comes with its own list of spring cleaning duties (don’t forget about cleaning your phone!), it can also be an opportunity to clean up your budget, and make way for more savings.
Clean out your subscriptions
We know that budgets are tight, and finding things you can cut back on are not always as easy as it sounds. According to a New York Times Analysis conducted by Mint, the online budgeting tool, in 2019, Americans spent $640/year each on digital subscriptions like streaming video and music services, cloud storage, dating apps and online productivity tools. When you factor in the fact that most subscriptions are $9-$15/month, that starts to look like a lot of subscriptions that are being paid for.
Which brings us to our first spring budget cleaning tip: Clean out any subscriptions you no longer have use for. Maybe you signed up for a free trial, and forgot to cancel the renewal. Maybe you just realize you no longer use one of your subscriptions, or can find a cheaper alternative. Sit down and compile the list of all the automatic subscriptions you are currently using, and figure out which ones can stay and which can be removed.
Declutter your bills
Similar to organizing your subscriptions, another hack is to organize your bills. It’s true that the most important step toward reducing expenses and having the ability to save is to simply know what it is you’re already paying for. And while we’ve covered various budgeting tools in past articles, and would still recommend the usage of any of them, you can simplify the process and just start with a clean spreadsheet.
Did you know that Google offers a free monthly (and annual) budget sheet? Just open one up, sit down with your statements one evening and organize all your expenses into one convenient place. Once it’s all there, finding where you can cut back—perhaps adopting a better habit of stocking up on common items when there is a sale, finding a more affordable grocery store, or even getting rid of your cellphone bill—is as easy as, well, just looking at your spreadsheet! After all, an organized budget is a better working budget. And a better working budget is more money back in your pocket.