5 Easy Ways to Cut Down on Financial Clutter
As we approach the New Year, it’s time to start thinking about ways to streamline and make life easier. Reducing the financial clutter in your life will go a long way toward doing both. Just what is financial clutter? In addition to obvious things like paper statements, it’s also things you might not think of, such as multiple 401(k) accounts from past employers. Let’s take a look at how to reduce financial clutter.
One surefire way to reduce clutter is to not let it build up in the first place. If you are still receiving paper statements for bank accounts, credit cards and utility bills, it’s time to go paperless once and for all. There’s no reason to continue receiving bulky paper statements when all the information you’re looking for is available at your fingertips online or via apps on your phone. Going paperless is the right decision for reducing financial clutter, and it’s a smart choice for the environment, too. Plus, it helps safeguard your information from mail theft and identity fraud.
Use Direct Deposit
Still waiting for payday then running to the bank with your check? If your employer offers direct deposit, use it! It’s the most convenient way to ensure your money makes it into your account on time, every time. There are no trips to the bank; no paper pay stubs to file or shred. And if you find you need a pay stub for any reason, you’ll be able to print one from the payroll website.
Automate Your Savings
It’s easy to set a savings goal. It’s harder to reach it. But automating your savings can help. Many employers allow you to split your direct deposit into multiple accounts. Rather than having the full amount deposited into your bank account, then transferring some to savings, have it done automatically. You’ll be happily surprised by how quickly your savings balance grows when you’re making consistent deposits. And you’ll have one less financial chore to complete.
If you have left a trail of open retirement accounts as you moved from job-to-job, it’s time to roll over or consolidate those funds into a single account. Not only is it more convenient and easier to keep track of, you will have a more accurate measure of your progress toward achieving your retirement savings goals. Similarly, if you are juggling multiple credit cards (and their payments) every month, consider consolidating them into a single monthly payment. You can do this through a consolidation loan, or by completing credit counseling and enrolling in a debt management plan.
Cut Down on Junk Mail
Is your mailbox overrun with credit card, banking and insurance offers? You can eliminate them almost entirely by visiting optoutprescreen.com and entering your information. Doing so will stop you from receiving those offers for five years. There’s also a permanent opt-out option you can complete by mail (details are on the website). It’s perfect for reducing clutter and it also helps to protect your personal and financial information from mail theft.