Simplify Finances

7 Ways to simplify your finances

Being a minimalist isn’t just about your material possessions, but also your financial life!  Do more with less.  Work smarter, not harder. There are enough stressors to deal with in life, and finding ways to simplify as many things as possible can help you focus on what is most important. Not every approach will work for you but try to think of ways you can streamline your personal financial management.

 

  1. Cash 

    You can go back to the old-fashioned way of just using cash. This can reduce the need to track how much money you can afford to spend, as you can only spend as much as there is cash in your wallet.

  2. Automate 

    Set up direct deposit for your paycheck. Set up direct bill pay for bills that you know are the same each month and don’t change in amount so that they’re never late.

  3. Batch bill pay 

    For the bills you need to review before submitting payment, pick one or two days a month to sit down and pay all of the bills in one go. Look at the dates your bill statements are released and your due dates to avoid any late charges, and then pick a day that will work for all of your bills. If it’s difficult to find a day, many companies will change your billing cycle date to what works for you, so give the company a call and see if you can line up your bills within the same billing cycle.

  4. Go paperless 

    Get rid of the piles of paperwork! Instead, set up automatic alerts to email or text you when a statement is ready, then download it to a digital file folder on your computer for filing away digitally. If you are worried about forgetting a bill, see suggestion number 3 to pay your bills in batches, and set up a calendar reminder on your phone too.

  5. Become debt free 

    It will not only save you money by not paying interest and late fees, but it avoids complication. Only charge what you can afford to pay off each month, or switch to suggestion number 1, using cash. Automate your bill payments. Live a simpler life overall.

  6. Cut the cord 

    Eliminate services you don’t need. Do you really watch enough cable TV to make the subscription worth the price? Are you reading those magazines and newspapers? What else do you subscribe to each month, and is it making a positive impact on your life, or causing unnecessary clutter, stress, or bills

  7. Focus your goals 

    You may have a long list of goals, specifically financial goals. Instead of being overwhelmed, focus on the short-term goals that you can make an impact on now. For example, if you have a goal to pay off your car or mortgage, instead of focusing on the thousands of dollars you need, think about ways you can save another $5-100 this week.

There are many popular books, articles, and podcasts about simplifying your life to help bring you joy.  Think about things you avoid doing, and consider if there are ways to automate the process, reduce the time involved, or just eliminate it.

After reading these 7 suggestions, have you thought of more ideas that will work for your lifestyle?

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Michelle Budzien

Michelle Budzien is an Accredited Financial Counselor for askFinancial Wellness. She also assists with the Foresters Everyday Money financial helpline, providing unbiased financial coaching and education with the goal of improving the financial well-being of Foresters members. Michelle enjoys writing about all aspects of personal finance such as budgeting tips and tools, debt management, understanding credit, analyzing future needs, and industry trends.