Spring clean your home and finances

Spring is in the air – and we think it could be a great time to spring clean your house, as well as your finances! Let’s begin by making checklists to clean the areas of the house and life that really need extra attention. Below are just some of the things you might want to do around the house (and your finances!) in order to freshen up your home and, hopefully, also feel better about your financial affairs.

Unclutter your house. One of the most important and biggest parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of all the stuff you just no longer need – be it old magazines, dozens of unfinished shampoos and creams, expired pantry food – you name it! Make sure you reduce, reuse and recycle: for example, you can give unwanted books and magazines to your local library; donate old furniture to a charity; give no longer used skincare products to a friend, and so on.

Sell unwanted appliances and clothes. If you have a hardly-ever-used home appliance like a milkshake maker (that you have not touched in years!), why not consider selling it on Trade Me for a few dozens of dollars? Same applies to your clothes and shoes that you just never get to wear – don’t we all make compulsive purchases from time to time! Go through your wardrobe and pick the items you don’t mind parting with. Wash and iron according to the instructions on their labels, get a friend or family member to take quality photos of you wearing the clothes (or shoes), and list them on Trade Me or another online auction website – it’s a well-known fact that quality images increase the possibility of an item being sold faster and for a better price, so make sure your pictures look good.

Organise your documents. If you are anything like me, and your documents and bills just lie around the house in large piles, this part of the spring cleaning process might take a while. Start by gathering all documents, bills, invoices, statements you have; pull out stray files; empty the drawers stuffed with papers and sort everything into a number of folders. For example: monthly bank statement printouts, monthly bills, payslips, tax documents, user manuals and warranties, policy documents and contracts (gym, insurance, etc.), and the “forever” documents – such as birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, and so on. It would also be a great idea to put the forever documents in a portable fire-resistant safe, so that they stay safe in an event of fire. Also, if you decide to throw any documents away, I suggest shred them just to be on the safe side.

Spring clean your finances. Before you can get your financial matters in order, you need to know how exactly your money is spent. If you wanted, you could try tracking ALL money coming in and going out for a month by making an Excel spreadsheet with a number of columns representing your monthly income and all the different types of expenses you may have throughout the month: food, bills, transportation, entertainment, etc. At the end of the month, go through the spreadsheet and see how you can adjust your expenses to be able to save a bit more (and pay off any debt you may have) – for example, switch to a cheaper mobile plan, stop buying take away coffee, switch to homemade lunch meals, buy generic groceries instead of expensive branded ones… The little things do add up! You might want to seek professional financial advice on your finances – for example, you could check out www.sorted.org.nz for practical advice, or talk to the NZ Family Budgeting Services.

If, however, all you need is just a few hundred dollars to get through to your next pay day, you could consider applying for a small easy cash loan from Payday Loan. You can find more information on our service on this website, or contact our friendly customer service team on 0800 327 822.