Spring is just around the corner and we’ve been snowed in, again! This isn’t meant to happen in March. However, close the curtains, hide from the misery and throw on a blanket, grab a coffee and log onto your internet banking, rummage around a bit and have a financial spring clean.
Financial Spring Clean : Direct Debits
As helpful as they are for organising payments, Direct Debits can often go forgotten if you lose track of them. There may be some ancient ones lurking in the deepest depths of your bank account. Remember that subscription that you had for that thing that you don’t use anymore? Time to get rid of it.
It’s always best to work out the company that’s taking the money from you and to call them to cancel it. If you just cancel the direct debit from your online banking portal, you may cause yourself some trouble.
You may have already done this if you have automated your money, but while you’re looking at direct debits anyway it’s a simple enough task to phone companies and change your direct debit dates. The day after payday is my plan. Get paid and get the bills out of the way first. I get paid of the last working day of the month. I’ve set all my direct debits to come out on the first of the month. Believe me, it makes sense.
Financial Spring Clean : Standing Orders
I automatically move money around between my different bank accounts using standing orders. They are another tool that help make organising your money so easy! They are something that you are in full control of though. Any stray ones will be regularly sending money out of your account which ideally you’ll want to put a stop to!
You setup the standing order in the first place, providing you’re sure it’s not going to cause any complications, you can just as easily stop it by deleting it from your bank portal.
As with the Direct Debits above, send any money automatically to other accounts or people on the day after payday. Earning a massive pay packet or winning the lottery aside, It’s little steps like these that I believe will help lead us to financial freedom.
Financial Spring Clean : Scour your Statement
This is probably the most boring part. Sorry. Take a look at the last 3 months of your bank statements, (or longer if you’re feeling brave) and just have a look at what you’ve been spending money on. For some this can be a shock in it’s self. Take a look for anything that looks unusual, or anything that appears too often and make adjustments. We went through a phase where I thought we’d taken out shares in Papa John’s. Our waistlines and bank accounts will thank us for nipping that one in the bud.
Not all recurring payments are setup by Direct Debit or standing order. You can setup regular payments with things like PayPal now, keep an eye out for these! Make sure if you’re still using the service or not and make the necessary adjustments.
As much as this post is about spring cleaning, don’t limit it to only spring. These are things you should be doing regularly and making sure that your bank accounts are as healthy as they can be and that you’re not throwing money down the drain. Half a days work can make a load of difference to some people.
Have you done this? Let me know in the comments what you’ve sound!