After a long winter, spring is here! And, while it’s a good time to give your home a good cleaning, it’s also a chance to clear out some extra spending that may be cluttering up your everyday budget. Let’s take a look.
The price of groceries can add up quickly. So, with everything else in bloom this season, why not consider growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs? Choose items that you use regularly. And, you don’t need to have the greenest thumb to see results. A quick internet search will help you maintain your garden so you’ll have plenty of varieties to grow through the summer. Plus, storing your harvested items correctly will make them last even longer. You’ll be glad knowing that you can knock a couple of regular items off that grocery bill.
Don’t sweat it
As the weather gets warmer, it’s a great time to be outside. This may be an opportunity to rethink that expensive gym membership and find other ways to break a sweat without breaking the bank. Since crowded gyms can make it difficult to get in the workout you paid for, parks and community recreation centers can serve as cost-effective alternatives. Parks are free and open for everyone to get active, while community centers can offer classes or memberships at half the price of a standard gym and even hold regular open gym hours as well.
Another cost-effective option would be to join a community league for sports like softball, basketball, or volleyball. Many of these programs are free or only require a set price upfront instead of a monthly payment. Plus, depending on your activity of choice, an option like this can last you through the summer and fall seasons.
Movie, TV, gaming, and music streaming services are also a convenient idea. Although, if you’ve subscribed to several at once, they can prove to be just as expensive as your regular cable package. While going to your local library may seem like a downgrade, it can be a great way to access a wide range of entertainment for free. If you can manage due dates to avoid late fees, this can prove to be a more cost-effective option. You might even pick up a book or two to read while you’re there.
You’re in charge
One of the most valuable ways you can clear out extra spending this spring is by doing away with some of your credit cards. Specifically, store credit cards that can often add to existing debt. Getting rid of these will remove the temptation of promotions and discounts that often entice customers to use them on a regular basis.
Another way to cut down spending would be to get rid of some of your online store accounts. The accessibility of online purchasing has made it easy for consumers to make automatic purchases without consideration of how much is actually in their bank accounts. Take a look at what accounts you have synced to your credit cards and see which ones you can do without. This way you can be more conscious of your purchasing habits.
And, while you’re getting rid of items throughout your home, why not take an opportunity to make some money? Partner up with a couple of neighbors to host a garage or yard sale. You can split the cost of a garage sale permit to put even more cash in your pocket from the items you sell. You could also post items for sale on social media or community selling sites. Many local buyers are even willing to come and pick up the items themselves.
No matter the season, it can be the perfect time to reassess your spending habits and discover how small changes can make a big impact on your finances. Enjoy the season!
What should you do with all your newfound savings? How about opening a savings account? Wintrust offers several savings options, including Passbook Savings, Statement Savings, and a money market account.