This post is contributed.
Whether one person in your home tends to take care of the finances or you split the duties between you, it can be a little tedious. Having to deal with paying bills and budgeting is time-consuming, and you would probably much rather be relaxing with your feet up. If you feel like you spend too much time sorting out your household finances, you can take steps to simplify them. There are various things that you can do to achieve this, so that you can spend less time trying to keep everything organized. Take a look at these tips for simplifying your finances.
Slim Down Your Accounts and Cards
How many bank accounts, retirement accounts and credit cards do you have open? Sometimes, it can be useful to have a number of different accounts. If you’re saving money toward several goals, for example, or you’re trying to maximize the interest you receive, you might choose to have a few different savings accounts. However, too many accounts and too many cards can be confusing and difficult to juggle. By choosing to have only a couple of bank accounts at most and simplifying to only one or two cards, you can avoid everything getting too complicated. One debit card and one credit card is often enough.
Another thing that can make it annoying to do your household finances is that you can end up with lots of letters and paperwork. If you get paper bills from everyone who bills you, it could mean a small pile of paper every month. Then you have to either keep the paper bills or shred them to ensure your privacy. As an alternative, you might want to switch to paperless billing on all accounts that offer it. Most service providers will now allow for paperless billing, so you can simply view your bills online whenever you need to.
Bundle Your Bills Together
Receiving a number of different bills at different times of the month, and some even every few months, can get confusing. Trying to juggle them all might mean you end up dropping the ball and missing a payment. One of the ways to make things easier is to find out how you can put some of your bills together. With companies like i3Broadband, you can package your phone, TV and internet all into one package. Then you only have one payment to make each month, instead of two or three. You can take a look at your insurance policies and see if you can roll any of them into one policy. Or perhaps you can make sure that your utilities all come from the same company.
Automate Payments and Transfers
If you would rather not deal with making payments every month when your bills are due, just set it up so that it happens without you. When you automate your payments, you don’t need to remember to pay them individually each month. It shouldn’t take long to set everything up, and you should then be able to forget about it all. When setting up automatic payments, you might be able to do it with the company you want to pay, or possibly straight from your bank account. Some apps can help you to transfer your money too.
Create a Basic Shopping List
Handling the shopping for groceries and other household essentials can be time-consuming too. You have to think about what you’re going to eat and check your cupboards for what you need. Every week, your total spend could end up different to the week before. If you want to simplify things a bit, you could have a basic list that you buy every time you shop for groceries, with other items that you buy less often. Even though it’s nice to try new things, you can also make your finances easier by having meals that you’re familiar with and know the price of, or just ingredients that you use a lot. It’s useful to know how long a certain ingredient might last, such as how long it takes you to get through a bag or rice or a bottle of vinegar.
Aim to Be Debt Free
Paying off your debts is one more thing to worry about. But if you continue to add debts to your existing ones, you will always be trying to repay what you owe. Aiming to be debt free is a fantastic financial goal to have, and it will definitely simplify your finances. One thing that you might consider doing right away is longer using a credit card. If you do use one, paying it off in full every month is a smart thing to do. Larger debts might be more difficult to pay off, especially when considering long-term ones such as a mortgage. However, you can work to pay debts off early and perhaps save money in the process.
Choose Between Cash or Card (or Mobile)
Many people will recommend paying for things in cash if you want to simplify your finances. This is because it makes it easier for a lot of people to see how much they’re spending if they’re handling physical cash. It’s more easy to limit yourself to a certain amount by carrying it with you, and knowing how much you have left. Alternatively, you might find that sticking to cards or mobile payments is actually easier for you. It helps you to keep a more detailed record of what you spend and where you spend it, without having to keep receipts. You can just check your bank account for your transactions.
Use a Professional
Enlisting the help of a professional can make several financial tasks easier. From getting your taxes done to planning for retirement, a little help from someone who knows what they’re doing can make a huge different for you. Speak to an accountant or a financial advisor to get the advice that you need.
Simplify your finances and you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration, and spend more time doing things you enjoy.