When it comes to finances, one of our favorite mottos is “KISS.”
No, not the 70s rock band on your childhood lunchbox. We mean “Keep It Simple Silly!”
Whether big or small, taking steps towards simplifying your finances works wonders for your mental well being. Having less money woes on your mind will free up extra brain power, so you can enjoy the good
things in life, like cooking a favorite meal while listening to your entire collection of KISS albums.
Here are 7 key tips for streamlining your finances.
#1: Take Your Accounts into Account
When it comes to bank accounts, more is definitely not the merrier. Keep savings and checking accounts to a minimum, using only one or two financial institutions at a time. This will save you the time and headache of running from bank to bank, website to website, or stress ball to stress ball.
#2: Trim the Financial Fat
Time to buckle down and clear out any unnecessary spending or expenses. For example, try switching from an overloaded cable package to a streaming service or an a la carte channel provider. And be real with yourself. Do you actually need it? This will take some of the stress off your budget and your brain.
#3: “No” Means “No”
Two letters never had so much power. Be aware of when you’re about to impulse buy. And try to avoid the places where you feel the most temptation, like the mall or the vending machine. We’re living in a time of near constant pressure to buy, buy, buy, so willpower is definitely a virtue.
This goes for peer pressure too. Saying no to lunch or a night out with friends can be tough, but odds are, those friends will support your decision to save money. They may even join you (stay tuned for Tip #7).
#4: Get Credit For Your Credit Card
With great credit cards comes great rewards. Try to enroll for a card that pays you back for the things you do regularly. For example, if you spend a lot of time driving, find a program that gives you gas rewards. It will save you extra bits of cash here and there.
#5: Make Technology Your Friend
Budget-focused tech has come a long way in the past decade. Apps like Mint, Wally and Toshl Finance have made it super easy to keep track of your budget and manage your spending habits down to the
dollar. You can also set reminders, create a plan to meet specific goals, and check your financial pulse at the touch of a button.
#6: Make Automatic Billing Your Best Friend
From water bills to credit cards, you can save time (and paper) by enrolling in automatic billing. By scheduling the date and amount ahead of time, you won’t be on the hook for missed payments.
#7: Use the Buddy System
Looking for an easy motivator? Try a good old-fashioned buddy system. Pair up with a friend to compare notes, keep spending habits in check, and cheer each other on! Bonus points if it’s a friend you see regularly, since keeping in touch will be a breeze.
At the end of the day, the biggest way to simplify your financial health is with routine.
Make it a point to regularly check your accounts, mind your billing statements, and update your alerts. If you keep it up consistently, it’ll eventually become a habit. Taking a little time here and there to maintain your finances paves the way for even greater financial independence. And having that independence is an incredibly rewarding feeling.