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 all review our accounts, 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. Here are 6 steps for simplifying your finances. Small steps can go a long way.
6 Ways to Simplify Your Finances
The process of budgeting has evolved. You no longer have to gather statements with a calculator, paper, and pencil in hand. Use apps like myFinance to keep track of saving and spending across various accounts. Know your balances and create a spending and saving plan. Receive convenient alerts if your budget is exceeded.
Checking your credit report may not be among your top priorities, but it should be. It is 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. A credit monitoring service, such as LifeLock or Identity Guard, may be beneficial. 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.
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. Credit cards may be convenient but they allow you to spend money you don’t have. Try to avoid overspending and interest by using only your money.
Saving may seem like a hassle but it doesn’t have to be. Set a realistic goal you would 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 have set the recurrence up.
Keeping up with what you’re spending is not an option. You have to be sure to know what your balance is before conducting a transaction. Failing to do so, may cause you to overdraw your account or miss a fraudulent transaction. Check your account with ease by taking advantage of tools like e-alerts. Sign up to receive a text message or email when your balance is low or a large transaction is made. Sign on to online banking to see a full list of available alerts.
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. Know you have the convenience of using Bill Pay, logging on to most companies’ websites, or setting up automatic payments. Making payments is now easier than ever.