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Between managing retirement, paying bills, handling credit cards, saving for things in life you want and more, managing your financial life can get difficult.
Due to this, I am often looking for ways to make managing my financial life easier since at times handling everything can seem so hectic and stressful.
Making everything simpler and easier means that I can have more time to spend on other areas of my life, and also worry less about what I may be forgetting.
This is why I am creating this article. I believe that if you can learn how to manage your finances effectively as well, you can save a ton of time, have less stress, and focus on the things you truly want to in life.
Managing your finances does not have to be hard, and I want to show everyone that. Too many people give up and let their finances get out of order, when it really does not have to be that hard.
Below is how I manage my finances easily so I can save time and worry less.
I automate payments.
You can automate a lot in your life. You can have your paychecks direct deposited, you can auto pay your bills, you can even auto pay your credit card payment each month.
Even though I check through all transactions and expenses, I still automate all of my actual payments so that I never have to worry if something was forgotten about. Most of my monthly expenses are similar from month to month, so I can usually just check the payment to see if everything is correct or not.
I have one bank account.
Okay, technically we have two – a checking account at our credit union and a savings account as well there. I couldn't imagine having more than that, whether it be separate accounts for different savings goals or if we had accounts at completely different banks.
Before you think “Don't most people only have one checking and one savings account?”
That is not true. I personally know a few people who have multiple accounts open. To me, it seems like unnecessary work, but I understand that there are many reasons for doing this.
I keep note of credit card signups and rewards.
I have several credit cards so that I can earn credit cards rewards. In the past three months, we have actually signed up for five rewards credit cards (yes, FIVE!) and have earned a decent amount in free vacation and free cash back.
However, it does get stressful to think about all of this. Any normal person would feel stressed in order to manage this many credit cards, in addition to the ones we already have. Because of this, I have a detailed system of what credit card to use when, when I have reached the spending level so that I can earn the full signup bonus reward, and when I'm about to be charged for a credit card's annual fee. It sounds difficult, but it really is not since I just have reminders set that will automatically remind me.
This leads to the next part…
I set reminders in my phone's calendar so I don't forget anything.
If there is something coming up that I know I will not remember, I will create a reminder. This makes managing my finances easier because I don't have to worry about forgetting things or missing payments.
I create reminders for things such as:
- When it's time to pay estimated quarterly tax payments.
- Renewing license plate tags for our cars.
- Paying semiannual bills, such as car insurance.
- When discounts and promotions expire, such as for our internet service, so that we can continue to get good deals on the products and services we use.
We have combined finances.
I know this option doesn't work for everyone, and in some instances having separate finances with your spouse is a better option.
However, for us having combined finances works, and has worked for years. This makes everything very simple as we have less accounts to think about.
Our retirement is in a diversified fund.
Yup, most of our retirement is in one fund, specifically VTSAX.
It is a diversified fund, so it's not exactly like all of our eggs are in one basket. Having everything in one diversified fund makes investing for our retirement easy in that I don't have to waste a ton of time trying to beat the market.
Side note: I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation. You can connect accounts such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more, and it is FREE.
Ways YOU can learn how to manage your finances more simply.
Of course, there are many other ways you can simplify your financial life.
You can learn how to manage your finances effectively by taking part in the actions below to make your life more simple:
- Start a cash budget. Dealing with only cash would be very easy as you won't ever have to worry about making a credit card payment.
- Get rid of credit cards or slim down. If you are not interested in credit card rewards, then slimming down to just one credit card can save a lot of hassle and time.
- Pay off your loans. Whether you have student loan debt, credit card debt, car debt, or whatever else, paying it off will help manage your finances easier as you will have less debt causing you stress.
- Skip the paper bills. I hate receiving wasteful letters in the mail. Instead, I opt for the electronic version of bills whenever I can. This way I just receive an email when something needs to be handled.
- Create a budget through Excel. This can save you time in that you can easily make changes whenever they need to be made. It's not as easy to make changes or have a flexible budget when you write it down as eventually it would turn into one sloppy mess.
- Opt for paying expenses annually or semiannually. Instead of paying for bills like home insurance and car insurance monthly, you might want to look into paying it every six months or once a year. You will probably qualify for a discount if you do this as well. That's two less bills to worry about each month if you do this!
- Cut expenses out of your life. Each one you cut out means one less bill to worry about and money saved.
How do you manage your finances to make things easier? Or do you like to make everything hard?