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Easy Steps to Decluttering Your Home and Your Finances

March 29, 2018

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Now that winter has ended, spring has officially sprung! Many of us are beginning to do the annual spring task of cleaning out our homes and getting rid of the clutter that accumulated over the colder months. While decluttering your home is an important part of preparing for a busy summer, decluttering your finances is an equally important part of the process and should not be taken lightly!

Spring Cleaning Supplies

When tackling your home’s spring cleaning and deciding which items to part with, try to look at it from a money-making perspective. We are right in the middle of garage sale season so get out your sharpies – it’s time to make some money from your old stuff! After all, it was likely going to end up in the garbage, so you might as well try to recover some money from it.

Once your garage sale has finished, consider posting the remaining items for sale on a Facebook swap & shop group, or get the app Letgo and sit back and watch while every last one of your used items becomes cash in your pocket. You can then use that cash to pay off any remaining balance from an astronomical winter hydro bill, or stash it away in preparation of the various summertime expenditures you’re about to face. You may even want to create a Christmas savings account to relieve some of next holiday seasons’ financial pressures. Not only will your house look and feel less busy, you’ll also benefit from this financially.

One step at a time

When it comes to clearing out your home, you tend to do it one room at a time, right? Now let’s try applying this method to your finances!

If you have two credit cards and a line of credit that could use paying down, do it one account at a time. There are two ways to go about doing this:

  1. Debt Avalanche Method
    The Debt Avalanche Method is when you pay off your highest-interest-charging debt first because this will result in less interest paid long-term.
  2. Debt Snowball Method
    The Debt Snowball Method makes your smallest debt the priority and is most often used by those who are inspired by short-term victories.

To make the most out of your debt-repayment efforts, sit down and make a list of all your debts and decide which method you are going to use, and which debts are going to be tackled first. Next, determine how much money you have to spend on debt repayment each month, and either set up a monthly pre-authorized payment for this amount, or create a reminder in your calendar to prompt you to make the payment when it becomes due.

Once you’ve paid off your debt, put the same amount of money you were applying to your debt into savings. Before long, you will start to notice that holidays, vacations and back-to-school shopping are a breeze now that you have enough money to cover your expenses.

Talk to your Bank

Just as we tend to find surprises when spring cleaning our homes, we may also find surprises with our banking. When you start to take a closer look at things, you may just find that you’re paying more in fees than you’d like.

Our advice: Take the time to investigate each account, credit card, loan or line of credit to determine exactly how much you are paying in fees, interest and charges. You may want to consider making changes if you’re paying a fee every time you use your debit card, or if you’re paying $100 annually for a credit card that you don’t use.

Remember: There are many different types of accounts that provide convenience to diverse types of users and their needs, you just have to take the time to decide which would work best for you. Do your research!

Check your Credit Report

While doing a sweep through your house, consider doing the same for your credit report. A poll conducted by Ipsos, a global market research and consulting firm, revealed that nearly 60 percent of Canadian consumers have never even looked up their credit score. Your credit report through Equifax or TransUnion should be checked annually to confirm that there are no discrepancies in the information listed.

As a Canadian, you are entitled to receive one free credit report each year by completing one of the below forms and mailing them in with any other information they may request:

If you find an error, you can complete a dispute resolution form located on their websites. It’s important you do so quickly as it may have a damaging effect on your credit score.

Getting your Finances on Track

Decluttering your home, as well as your finances, is an important part of staying on track personally and financially. What better way to kick off this new season than with a clear house and a clear financial conscience?

If you need help getting your finances back on track, our team at Smythe Insolvency can assist you in improving your financial management skills and provide you with effective budgeting strategies to help you achieve your monetary goals. We have years of experience addressing money management issues, spending and shopping habits, as well as the warning signs of financial problems.

Contact us today to get started living your debt-free future!

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