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21 tips for spring cleaning your finances

If you’re waiting for the change of season to spring-clean your finances, here’s your sign to start today. At MyBudget we think it’s always a great time to clean up your finances, no matter the season. Anytime is the perfect time to set a new savings goal, eliminate credit card debt, improve your credit report and review your spending habits. Your personal finances will thank you for it.

If you’re not sure how to organise your money and you want to reduce household bills and spring clean your finances, you’re in the right place. Our tips are designed to help you dust off your money goals, clean up your finances and prepare for a sizzling-hot summer of financial fitness. Don’t also forget about refinancing any outstanding loans, which can be done through our friendly MyBudget Loans team.

What is spring cleaning for finances?

It refers to the process of reviewing and updating your current budget, cutting out unnecessary expenses that are no longer being used, and shopping around for better prices on essential items or services. Just like you would declutter and organise your home during traditional spring cleaning, when it comes to your  finances it helps you tidy up and optimise your financial situation

This could involve renegotiating bills on a regular basis, cancelling subscriptions you no longer need, or finding more cost-effective alternatives for regular expenses. By taking the time to sift through financial documents and bank statements, refresh and streamline your finances, you can ensure that your budget is up-to-date and optimised for your current needs.

21 tips for spring cleaning your finances

It’s important to take the time to review your current budget, expenses, and financial goals to make sure you’re on track for a successful year ahead. By following these tips, you can declutter your financial situation and set yourself up for financial success in the months to come.

1. Shop around for insurance

If you’re stuck on how to organise your finances, insurance is one area where there are huge savings to be made. MyBudget member Kerri recently compared her home and contents insurance bill against competitors using Compare the Market. For the same cover, she’s now saving $1,700 a year—with the same insurer!

2. Compare your mortgage

Get a better deal on your mortgage! With the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) having introduced plethora of interest rate increases since May 2022 in order to kerb the rate of inflation, many Australian homeowners are struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments.

To check if you’re getting the best deal on your mortgage, compare products and lenders. Talk to a broker or use an online mortgage comparison site. Better still, give the MyBudget Loans team a call. Our mortgage specialists put your interests first and will help to explain the pros and cons of moving your mortgage or leaving it where it is.

3. Cut unnecessary subscription services

Cancel or pause subscriptions you no longer use or need, like streaming services or magazine subscriptions from your monthly bills. From Spotify to Netflix, gym memberships to mobile apps, a lot of bills are based on subscription billing—$9.95 a month here, $50 there. Next thing you know, you’re paying out hundreds a month in extra money. Spring is the ideal time to weed out subscriptions you’re not using or to shop around for a better deal.

A person holding a mobile phone with the Netflix logo

4. Cook at home

You’ve heard this one before, but you might not realise how big an impact it can have on your physical and financial health. Eating out can quickly drain your wallet. Prepare meals at home to save on dining expenses. Preparing meals in advance and ordering your groceries online for pickup can prevent you from going over budget. Get creative and start trying some new recipes from our free 2-week meal plan on a budget guide that the whole family will love.

5. Compare prices

Before making a purchase, make sure to compare prices. Take the time to shop around, research online, and compare prices from different stores. It’s also worth checking if your favourite store offers price matching; some will even beat a competitor’s price.

6. Use coupons and cashback

One effective tip for spring cleaning your finances is to make use of coupons, promo codes, and cashback offers. Honey, an online tool, is a useful resource that can help you automatically search for and apply online coupons at checkout. By taking advantage of these money-saving opportunities, you can keep more money in your pocket.

7. Limit takeout and coffee runs

Limiting takeout and coffee runs can significantly improve your finances. Dining out frequently can drain your wallet, so cutting back on this habit can help you save a significant amount of money.

Additionally, investing in a quality coffee machine for your home can lead to long-term savings, especially if you work from home a lot. You’d be surprised at how much these small changes can have a positive impact on your financial health.

8. Buy generic brands

When it comes to shopping, don’t underestimate the value of generic brands. Just because a product has a fancy name brand, doesn’t mean it’s always worth the higher price tag. In many cases, generic brands can provide the same quality and experience without hurting your wallet. Save money by giving generic brands a try during your next shopping trip.

9. Sell unused items

In the spirit of spring cleaning, consider selling items that you no longer need or use. By decluttering your space and selling unused items, you can make some extra cash. Selling your clothes at a local market or listing old furniture on platforms like Marketplace or Gumtree can be a great way to get rid of clutter and earn some money at the same time.

10. Avoid impulse buying

To avoid impulse buying, consider waiting 24 hours before making any non-essential purchases. This simple practice not only helps you control your spending but also promotes better mental health. By giving yourself time to think about the purchase, you can make a more informed decision and avoid unnecessary expenses. Remember, delaying gratification is key to maintaining a healthy financial outlook.

11. Use public libraries

By utilising your local library for borrowing books, movies, and even kids toys instead of purchasing them, you can save on having to purchase them outright. Public libraries offer a wide range of resources that can help you save money and declutter your home at the same time. So the next time you’re looking for something new to read or watch, consider checking out what your library has to offer before making a purchase. It’s a great way to save money and reduce unnecessary expenses.

12. Unplug electronics

A simple tip, and one you may not have considered, is to unplug chargers and devices when they are not in use. This helps prevent unnecessary energy consumption, especially from devices in stand-by mode. Many smart devices and computers have settings that can be adjusted to optimise energy usage, so be sure to take advantage of those features to save on your energy bills.

FREE RESOURCE: download our free checklist for tips to save money on your energy bill.

13. Cut down on alcohol

Cutting down on alcohol can be a great way to save money. By limiting your alcohol consumption and reducing the number of times you dine out, you can significantly decrease your expenses. Consider participating in a sober month challenge, such as Dry July or Go Sober October, to not only save money but also improve your overall well-being. You might be surprised at how much extra cash you have at the end of the month after making this simple change in your habits.

14. Refinance loans

Consider refinancing high-interest loans or credit card balances to reduce your monthly payments. As mentioned before, our team at MyBudget Loans can help you explore for potentially refinancing your existing debt and improving your financial situation. Refinancing can help you save money in the long run, make managing your finances more manageable and even improve your credit score over time. So, don’t hesitate to consider this option as part of your spring cleaning list!

15. DIY beauty and grooming

By learning how to do your own beauty and grooming tasks at home, you’d be surprised at how much you could save. Instead of heading to salons for manicures, haircuts, and other grooming services, consider DIY options to save money and still look great. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also gain new skills and independence by mastering these tasks yourself. It’s a win-win situation for your finances and your self-care routine!

16. Buy secondhand

Consider buying secondhand items such as clothing, furniture, and electronics. You can find great deals on gently used items by shopping at thrift stores or browsing through online marketplaces. This way, you can save money while still getting quality items for your home. It’s a sustainable and budget-friendly way to refresh your spaces this spring.

17. Plan free activities

The age old saying that you don’t need to spend money to have fun is so true. Planning outings for free could include things like enjoying the outdoors with activities like hiking or having a picnic, taking advantage of free admission days at museums, or attending local community events that don’t require spending money. These activities can help you save money while still having a great time!

18. Quit smoking

One effective way to spring clean your finances is by quitting smoking. Not only will this decision improve your health, but it will also save you a substantial amount of money that you would have otherwise spent on tobacco expenses. According to Statista, on average a packet of cigarettes a day could set you back over $12,000 a year. It’s a win-win situation for both your wallet and your well-being.

19. Track your spending

Keep a detailed record of every expense to identify areas of wasteful spending where you can cut back. If you see this as too overwhelming or emotionally draining, a MyBudget Money Coach can manage your spending plan for you when you sign up for a budget.

20. Automate savings

Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account on payday to ensure consistent additional savings. This will help prevent you from spending from your savings account, especially if bonus interest is up for grabs as an incentive not to withdraw! If you don’t already have a high-yield savings account like this, you will need to set one up. You want the type that has zero fees and no ATM card (so you don’t accidentally use it when you’re buying a kebab at 3 a.m.).

Next, email the bank account details to your work payroll and ask them to deposit $X dollars (you decide the amount) from every pay into your new account. Or set up an automatic recurring transfer for each pay period. This is how you create a savings habit to clean up your finances and achieve your long-term financial goals. Prioritising an emergency fund, and paying off any personal loans and any other financial obligations are great uses of savings. And once you have your emergency savings to fall back on, you can move on to attainable goals, or just save a bit of cash for warmer weather!

Implementing a combination of these quick-saving strategies can make a noticeable impact on your finances in a short amount of time. These strategies can help you save money quickly and sustainably.

A person in jeans holding the lid of a clear jar with an American $100 bill and a white tag with "Saving" written on it.

21. Create a budget

There’s nothing boring about creating a budget to achieve financial freedom. It’s the hurdle most are scared to take, or believe they can’t take. Imagine all the long-term goals you have been wanting to achieve but have felt disempowered by external factors or the business of life. A balanced budget sets those money goals out for you like a clear staircase. Now is the ideal time to take the pressure off. Think new house, debt-free living, regular date nights and stress-free sleep.

Setting up an annual budget isn’t just about financial spring cleaning; it’s about creating a system to help you live the life you want free from money worries!

Ready to spring into financial fitness?

If you’re ready to spring into financial fitness, book a free appointment with one of our money experts. We’ll help you clean up your finances and create a customised achievable budget for you! This detailed plan will show you what you can achieve with your money over the next 12 months and beyond. The session is free, without obligations, and the financial plan is yours to keep. Request your free budget appointment today.

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This article has been prepared for information purposes only, and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.