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How to spring clean your home and your finances
Following daylight savings time last week, spring has officially sprung! It is the perfect time to declutter or improve our finances, and if you need another reason, April is ‘Home Improvement Month’, so why not also do this whilst improving your home. Studies show that cleaner, tidier spaces can have a positive effect on our mental health. If you’re not sure where to begin, here is our handy guide to get you started:

1. Check your home is fully insulated

As we all know it’s impossible to guarantee the British weather, and even springtime has some colder evenings. A good way of saving money in the long term is ensuring your home is well insulated. Without doing any major home improvements you can do a few simple things that can make a difference, such as checking your windows and doors and filling in any draughts using insulating tape or draught excluders. You could also look to change up your curtains or blinds – opting for thermal blinds or curtains made out of thicker material will help keep the heat in, and closing your curtains at night will save you money on your heating bills each month too.

2. Sensible swaps 

Did you know that you can keep costs low by using cheaper, natural products to clean? Swap your expensive (often toxic) cleaners for common kitchen items like vinegar, lemon juice, coca cola and baking soda for gleaming results. You can also save money on cleaning cloths by re-using old clothes or faded pillowcases for an eco-friendly solution. If you want your carpet or patio to be spotless, why not rent a carpet cleaner or jet washer as opposed to buying one that you will rarely use?

3.  D.I.Y deep clean

It may sound laborious, but taking the time to vacuum your refrigerator coils, de-ice your freezer, and de-scale your washing machine, dishwasher and shower heads can all help your appliances run more efficiently. This maintenance could save you a considerable amount of money on water and electricity bills, whilst also avoiding any pesky, unnecessary repair costs in the future. 

 4. Time to declutter 

Decluttering can feel intimidating but if you take your time and go room by room, you can easily sort your stuff into three piles: throw away, donate/recycle and sell. Get the whole family involved by encouraging your children to part with old toys and teens to hand over old textbooks. Vintage furniture, clothes, books, jewellery, antiques and unique collectibles can be very lucrative. Check to see if there is a car boot sale in your area, or use sites like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Depop, eBay or Etsy. Separate electronics like phones, laptops or gaming consoles and see if you can recycle or trade them in for money off new devices. 

5. Watch those outgoings

Finally, double check your direct debits and standing orders. Complete a full audit of all your current subscriptions, auto-renewals and outgoings. With phone costs, broadband, streaming services, insurance and utilities, small swaps and competition checks can save you cash and most importantly help your family’s budget stretch even further. 

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