5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Financial Life
If you feel like there’s always more to do and less time to do it, you’re not alone. We all seem to lead busier, more chaotic lives than ever before. Fortunately, your financial life doesn’t have to be a never-ending cycle of confusion and busy work. There are plenty of small, manageable things you can do to simplify your financial life and shorten your daily to-do list. Let’s take a look at what they are.
Divide Your Direct Deposit
You probably already have your paycheck deposited directly into your bank account (and if you don’t, you should). But did you know that in most cases, you can have portions of your check deposited into different accounts? Instead of having the full amount of your check all go to the same account, have a portion of it sent directly to a savings account. It’s the easiest, most consistent way to build up your emergency savings or save money for something special.
Set Up Auto-Pay
You may now set up automatic payments on just about everything, including utility bills and credit cards. Setting up auto-pay on your accounts is one of the easiest ways to simplify your financial life. No more worrying about making payments on time or forgetting to make one altogether.
If you’re not comfortable having your financial information online, many companies also offer the option of making payments by phone. It’s not quite as convenient as auto-pay, but it’s still easier than writing checks and mailing them.
Think of going paperless as a natural extension of setting up auto-pay. If you’re not sending payments in the mail, why receive bulky paper account statements, complete with useless mailing envelopes? Going paperless cuts down on clutter in your home and helps minimize the risk of identity theft or account fraud due to stolen mail. And of course, it’s better for the environment, too.
Opt Out of Offers
Take a stand against junk mail by opting out of receiving pre-approved credit and insurance offers. Simply visit OptOutPrescreen.com to stop receiving these offers for five years. You’ll cut down on excess junk mail, you won’t have to worry about shredding documents with sensitive financial information, and you’ll minimize the temptation to take on additional credit you don’t really need. If you find yourself needing credit or insurance at any point during the 5-year period, you may cancel your opt-out and start receiving offers again.
Streamline Your Financial Goals
While we certainly recommend striving for financial goals, having too many, poorly defined goals defeats the purpose. Rather than trying to focus on everything at once, pare them down to one or two achievable goals that become your main focus. For example, instead of trying to build an emergency fund, and save for a house and buy a new car in the next year, choose one of those and do everything you can to make it happen. Once you achieve one goal, move on to the next. The feeling of accomplishment you get will encourage you to keep going.