There’s just something about the freshness of Spring. The new year starts to feel more like home. Birds are chirping again. Less snow, more sunshine. Simply put, the scenery around us gets a whole lot brighter!
Also, if you’re anything like me, you love the opportunity to do some deep spring cleaning to truly hit the “Refresh” button on life. I rearrange furniture, fill donation bags of clothes/toys/books we no longer wish to keep, replace bedding, wash carpets…I try to reach every nook and cranny, and it makes me feel so good!
I got to thinking – what better time to build or refine my budget? After all, it’s a major household item we have to routinely upkeep, but how often do we really get our hands dirty to keep it in tip-top shape? Here are several reasons why spring truly is the best time for budget-building:
1. The holidays are over
The days of hosting guests, exchanging gifts, and traveling (all of which can come with a hefty price tag) have come to an end. Spring presents the perfect opportunity to assess any damage and prepare the family’s return to financial homeostasis. Or, in the event there is no household budget in place, this is the prime time to list expenses and determine strengths and weaknesses. You’ll be able to calculate how much was spent on gifts, holiday groceries, etc. so that you can be better prepared next year!
2. ‘Tis the season to refresh
Spring is when we strive for a sparkling clean environment. We stock up on Clorox wipes and scrub our homes, cars, and offices – leaving us with so much more than just tidy spaces. The activity uplifts our mood and studies have shown that spring cleaning does in fact make us feel happier.
Applying the same energy to a budget can create similar effects. Imagine “decluttering” the spreadsheets/pages that define our saving and spending habits, consolidating to only what’s relevant. Additionally, to avoid getting lost in the numbers, e-budgets can be restructured to be updated each month or each quarter, and old ones can be archived.
3. Tax season is approaching its end
Taxes are a reality for all of our budgets, and as April 15th nears, we balance out the previous year’s taxes paid (hopefully resulting in a refund). Whether we end up owing or we receive a check for taxes already paid, our budget is going to require adjustment. Now is the time to ensure all bills will still be met, and if there’s money headed your way – MAKE A PLAN for what you’re going to do with it! Write it down and build the discipline to stick to your goals.
4. You can put your New Year’s resolution(s) into motion
It’s likely that you set out to achieve at least one financial goal for the year (if not, get to brainstorming!), but are you prepared to carry it out? Is your budget polished so that you can visualize your progress easily over time? Think about the small changes you must make in order to meet your goal – and write them in. If you want to build your emergency fund to $1,000, for example, you won’t feel the impact of that cash redirection as much if you have it spread over the course of twelve months. Go easy on yourself!
5. You’ve got time to save for a summer vacation
Giving a little extra lovin’ to your budget in the early months of the calendar year can posture you for big savings in as little as 3-6 months, just enough time to treat yourself to a summer trip. Grand or small, you’re going to want that break in your routine. Even brief weekend trips can work wonders for a busy, hardworking lady like yourself. So go make it happen!
6. More daylight means more time outside, which means less spending!
As the sunshine begins to pour in, your wallet gets a break! Think of all of the FREE activities that present themselves when the weather is favorable – walks around the neighborhood, afternoons at the local pool or park, camping in the backyard, riding a bike, hiking… the list goes on! You’re less likely to pull out that credit card when you’re out enjoying nature and all it has to offer. As a result, your discretionary income is likely to increase. Your budget is BEGGING for you to record these improvements and start to direct money into savings or investments!
7. Many grocery items get cheaper!
I LOVE a good deal on groceries. This time of year, strawberries go down in price, as do onions. My son eats so much fruit, he might turn into one (lol), so I keep strawberries in the fridge year-round. Onions are also a recurring ingredient in many of my recipes. Slight savings here and there add up over time (just take a look at my Jar for July savings challenge), so don’t overlook these deals!
Spring is so much more than Easter bunnies and rubber gloves. It’s a time for freshness and clearing your life of any clutter. For those without a budget, your finances are far from tidy. Money demands direction and organization. Take this time to build an income/expense tracker (doesn’t have to be anything fancy) to get started. And for those with a budget in place, give it a good shine. Just like the furniture in your home, if you’re going to have to live with it every day and look at it often, don’t you want to love it? 🙂
Thanks for reading,