Stressing out over your finances? Learn how to organize them to make your life simpler and easier, and gain financial confidence.
Life is busy. Keeping up with work, family, and day-to-day activities doesn’t leave much time for finances. In a perfect world, we would review our accounts daily, keep up with ever-changing budgets, and look at our credit report every couple of months, among other things.
Most of us know exactly what we need to do – we just don’t always do it. Simplify your finances by setting systems in place to handle most everything you need with little effort. These six small steps can go a long way.
Thankfully, the process of budgeting has evolved. You no longer have to gather statements with a calculator, paper, and pencil in hand. Using a program like myFinance will help keep track of savings and spending across various accounts. You can also set up convenient alerts for when your budget has been exceeded.
Start by identifying your income and organizing expenses. This will guide you in creating a plan and personalize it to your needs. Budgeting may not come easy at first, but keep practicing and you’ll start to see results.
Saving may seem like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. Set a realistic goal you’d like to meet in a given amount of time. Consider breaking your goal up into monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly contributions that are consistent with your pay cycle. Instead of leaving it to yourself to remember, make your contribution automatic. You won’t have to do a thing after you’ve set the reoccurrence up.
If you’re someone who regularly makes purchases using a credit card, consider using a debit card instead. Seeing your checking account balance diminish may be more alarming than seeing your credit card balance on the rise. With the latter, you have the comfort of knowing you can pay later, but this comes with the price of paying interest.
Credit cards may be convenient, but they allow you to spend money you don’t have. Help yourself get out of debt by spending only the money in your checking account.
Always knowing your current account balance isn’t easy, but it’s something you should be aware of before conducting transactions. Failing to do so may cause you to overdraw your account or miss a fraudulent transaction.
Using tools like eAlerts can keep you up to date with text messages or emails for when your balance is low or a large transaction is made. Sign on to online banking to see a full list of available alerts.
Checking your credit report may not be among your top priorities, but it should be. It’s important to know when there are changes to your credit report, especially when it comes to changes that are not authorized. Be vigilant and think about your options.
Try a credit monitoring service, such as IdentityIQ®. Receive periodic updates with the service and be the first to know if anything suddenly changes. Compare options and choose what is right for you.
Gone are the days when you had to go to the business service center at your local store to make a last-minute payment or go to the post office to send something off. We live in the days of faster and easier payment options. Now you have the convenience of using Bill Pay, setting up automatic payment, or paying directly online with most companies’ websites. This can help streamline your finances so you never miss a payment.
By taking these steps, you’ll gain more financial confidence and be on the right path for financial success.