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Pandemic's taught us a few life lessons, and getting a grip on expenses is one aspect of it. Deep cleaning should become a lifelong habit. Image Credit: Pixabay

Since last year, we’ve been fortunate with having more time and space to think, reflect… and clean up. While some measures may seem extreme, that deep cleaning gave us a sense of control.

For many, their finances took a toll, and as salaries were revised, this created a financial mess. Pandemic or not, deep cleaning your finances is an essential task because you are aware where you stand.

Doing so on a regular basis can make life easier, and your financial journey a lot more comfortable. If you don’t know that extra Dh100 that crept into your phone bill, it’s time to start thinking and asking questions.

Here are four ways to deep clean your finances and the benefits it will bring:

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Stay informed

If you have a problem remembering what you spent, then it is a problem. With Apple Pay and Google Pay and most leading banks offering online payments, it’s been easier to track spending.

If a diary and a pen is what works for you, then create a finance journal and fill it up at the end of the day (or week). No matter how small the amount is, if you think you haven’t spent it, it’s good to ask questions and follow up.

Clean the 'waste bin'

Dusting and cleaning your budget will surely reveal some spending patterns. Now, it’s time to identify areas in your budget to make adjustments. The strategy will must work with your lifestyle and goals in mind.

Plan to clean up debt

Once you have figured out how much you owe and how much you’re paying in interest, create a debt repayment plan based on your budget. Next you will want to look for ways to either increase your payments or reduce your interest rates in order to pay off the debt quicker.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, sit with an advisor or even ask your family for their opinion.

Increase income

Especially during the pandemic, we saw a rise in online trading. People finally took the effort to learn about the stock market.

While it is a full time job, it can be done remotely. Online trading requires you to learn, observe and make planned decisions. You should never believe that it is a game of luck.

- Ali Hasan is CEO of Evest.