If the thought of organizing your finances makes your mouth dry and your heart pound, you need to read this article! By following a few basic processes, you can defuse your money anxiety once and for all.
And organizing your finances is not just good for your peace of mind. It can save you money. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of bills and accounts so you can easily control your finances.
Get those accounts out of the drawer and in one place. Set up a direct debit payment for regular bills like power, taxes or gym fees and never miss a bill payment again. Pay your bills on time to avoid late fees, penalties or a bad credit rating.
Use a notebook or a spreadsheet to track your spending. Every time you buy something, whether it’s gas, shoes or lunch, make a note of it. Not only will you see where your money is going, but the discipline of writing down purchases is a prompt to think before you buy. Do you really need to buy another pair of red shoes?
Store loyalty cards and coupons may be a marketing tool to get you to shop more, but you can use them strategically to save money. That is especially true for potentially big-ticket items like Christmas and birthday gifts and back to school shopping.
Reduce the number of investments, accounts and credit cards you have and amalgamate them to one institution. Not only will this simplify your finances, but banks and financial institutions often offer bonuses and incentives to clients with multiple accounts.
There are many smartphone apps and computer software packages to help you manage your finances. Apps can help you build and maintain a budget, track your spending, remind you to pay bills and manage your investments. Some apps can even give you customized suggestions on ways to reduce fees, cut spending and save money. They can even help you do your taxes.
Build a household or personal budget and revise it as your circumstances and commitments change. Don’t forget to allow for seasonal variation as you use more power for heating or air conditioning. Schedule in big items like vacations, dental work or school fees to build a cushion of savings for emergencies.