/ Finance 101

6 ways to trim your budget this spring

Spring cleaning doesn't only have to be about decluttering your home, rotating your mattress and donating old belongings - it's also the perfect time to freshen up your budget, get organized and set yourself up for financial success. From cutting unnecessary expenses to negotiating better deals, here are 6 ways to trim your budget this spring.

1. Rake all your bills into one pile

As you’re cleaning your house, rake all your bills, receipts and insurance policies into one pile and file them in a safe place. Toss out any documents you don’t need anymore; as a rule of thumb, the Canada Revenue Agency recommends you save records and supporting documents for at least six years.1

2. Sow the seeds for savings

Since you just collected all your bills, take the opportunity to get a fresh understanding of your finances. Think about how much you’re spending each month on bills vs. personal expenses – have you had any changes in income or expenses lately? Or, look for an opportunity to cut back on spending – can you contribute more to savings?

3. Grow a budget

Don’t have a budget yet? Spring is a good time to grow one. There are a number of free online budgeting tools on the Internet – the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers a great budget calculator to help you get started.2 If you’re tech savvy, check out mobile apps such as Mint and Goodbudget that make building a budget easy.

Mom and son gardening4. Prune your expenses

You’d be surprised at all the ways you can prune expenses this spring. Are you paying for unused memberships or subscriptions? Are you incurring unnecessary bank fees? Take a close look at how much you spend on the things you need vs. the things you want – do they align with your goals and values? Snip away any areas you can do without so you can focus on what’s important to you.

5. Weed out what you don’t use

Look over your cable, internet, phone and insurance bills. Are you receiving promotions or deals on services? If not, see what deals other providers are offering; then call your provider to see if they can match it. Weed out any services you don’t actually use. If you’re using multiple providers for different services, consider consolidating your accounts with a single provider and save by bundling services together.

6. Say goodbye to your clutter (and make some money too!)

Spring cleaning gives you a chance to trim the extras and sweep away the stuff you don’t need. While you’re clearing out your closets and basements, say goodbye to the things that have been sitting there collecting dust. Donate your clothes or furniture to charities, or if they’re in like-new condition, consider selling them online or at a consignment store.

How else can I make the most of my budget this spring?

Another way to freshen up your budget is to consolidate expenses. Are you paying multiple bills, with different payment dates and a variety of companies? Consider a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation combines all of your bills and debts into a single loan solution with only one manageable monthly payment. Stop dealing with multiple deadlines and get your budget back on track.

A Fairstone Lending Specialist can work with you one-on-one to create a personalized Debt Relief Plan that suits your needs and lifestyle. Find room in your budget again! Apply securely online today.

This article is for informational purposes only. For personalized financial advice, you should contact a qualified financial advisor.

1 “Where to keep your records, for how long and how to request the permission to destroy them early.” Canada Revenue Agency. Government of Canada, 04 Mar. 2016. Web.

2 “Budget Calculator.” Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Government of Canada, 04 Mar. 2016. Web.

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