Beautiful spring weather brings along with it the necessity for spring cleaning which can be put to your financial advantage with some planning. Before you even make the first cleaning move, make your plan. The plan should be to generate some money that can be used for this summer vacation.

Downsizing and cleaning go hand in hand in that the less clutter you have sitting around, the less cleaning you are going to have to do so as you clean this spring, be conscious of what you are cleaning.

If you are dusting an item that has no sentimental value, why are you keeping it?

There are several questions you can ask concerning almost every item you have to clean. The object is to see if you really want to keep this particular item or is it just one more thing for you to dust.

If the item in question is of deep sentimental value, you may want to keep it where it has always been and just keep on dusting. If it is something that has been enjoyed in the past but holds no sentimental value, consider relegating it to the yard sale.

The yard sale requires your planning now even if it is to be some time in the future. Planning ahead makes for a successful yard sale. One of the most efficient ways to approach your sale is to clean the item as you go, attach a price tag to it and store it in a place where you will also put the other sale items. A closet is ideal but you can designate any spot (including under the bed), As you find articles for the sale, store them in the same place.

Take clothing to consignment shops for them to sell. Keep receipts for any items donated to charity for your income tax records.

You may not feel that you have enough to warrant a sale within the near future so you can plan for a yard sale in 2014, but if you do have enough merchandise, go for it for this year. A vacation trip may be paid for with the proceeds from such a yard sale.

Children can be involved in that this would be a good time for them to part with some of the less valuable of their treasures. For a road trip, make a financial plan for how you will get to your destination.

Figure the number of miles to your vacation spot, divide the number of miles per gallon your automobile gets, multiply that number by the current cost of gas to get the amount of money to arrive at your vacation spot. Don’t forget to double that figure if you plan to return home. Also allow miscellaneous miles while at your vacation spot.

Where are you going to stay while on vacation? Add motel or other lodging costs. Consider food and any other expenses such as cost of admission to various attractions in the same area.

Try to figure exactly what this vacation is going to cost you and have fun adding items to the sale closet knowing that you are coming closer to paying for a nice get-away whether it be Disney Land or one of the national or state parks.

Any time you find yourself in a position where you can achieve more than one goal at the same time, you are definitely ahead of the game.

By getting the spring cleaning done and prepaying, at least in part, for the vacation, is getting your financial ducks in a nice, happy row.

This approach can be used successfully for many things other than the vacation such as new clothes or furniture or just the satisfaction of having your financial ducks all in a row at the bank.

Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at