Spring Clean your Budget for a Fresh Start

Warmer weather breathes new life into the world. It revitalizes the plants and animals around you and entices everyone to start fresh. Many people choose spring to clean out their homes by getting rid of old items, and reorganizing what remains.

Spring is also the perfect time to get a clean, fresh start for your finances. Having a budget takes the guesswork out of living on a fixed income, especially for those in retirement. Bank of America offers four easy steps to setting up a budget.

Step 1. Take stock of what you spend now. Write down your daily expenses so it becomes clear where your money is going each day.

Step 2. Plan ahead by looking at the upcoming month. Are there extra expenditures you anticipate?

Step 3. Look for small ways to save. This can be a challenging part of budgeting, but by going after the little savings, things add up and you will accumulate extra money.

Step 4. Search for added income. Perhaps during your spring house cleaning you found enough items to have a garage sale, or look into programs that pay seniors for their volunteer work.

For many people, including seniors, Step 3 can be the hardest. But by using a little creativity, you can come up with some great ways to cut costs.

A great place to start is with your credit score. If you have lower credit, you will probably be paying more in interest for various accounts you have. You can monitor your credit for free to make sure that you are receiving the best rates.

You can also take a look at the bigger, static monthly expenses, such as your ongoing bills. If you are not required to use a particular company for a service, like car insurance for example, shop around for a less expensive one, or try to negotiate the price.

One of the biggest groups of expenses for seniors can also be one where there are opportunities to save: health care. For those eligible, the Medicare Savings Program helps minimize premiums and co-pays. The Medicare Extra Help program offers prescription drug discounts, and Walmart offers low-cost medications as well.

Spring cleaning your finances can be a big challenge when you’re a senior on a budget. Do not be afraid to ask for help from a family member.

When considering sticking to a budget, a monthly expense for a medical alert monitoring system can be overwhelming. But, the cost pales in comparison to the potential spent on unnecessary emergency response when all you need is your neighbor to lend a hand.