Do your finances stress you out? It can be a lot to make sure your bills are paid on time and that paperwork doesn’t pile up. But, it’s important to remember why managing your finances are important even when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Staying on top of your finances allows you to stay in control of your current situation as well as prepare for the future. It creates less stress and allows for level-headed decision making. We’ve even created a list of financial management tips to get you started on the path to success!
One of the best ways you can help yourself with managing finances is to set up automatic payments for monthly bills. It takes a little work to get everything set up, but you’re good to go after it is! You can’t forget to pay a bill if it’s automatically done, which gives you one less thing to worry about.
Technology isn’t only good for automatic payments. It can help you get organized and keep track of things. You can declutter your paperwork by using electronic statements. You don’t have to worry about losing your bill when you can simply pull it up on the website or an app. Mobile banking is also a good option to go along with your electronic statements. You’ll have everything in one place and can review it as needed.
For those times when you do need to keep paper copies, it’s important to have a place to keep it all organized. Labeled folders are a simple way to keep all of your paperwork organized and in one place. Each folder can be broken down by month, category, or whatever helps you keep track of important documents. Then, keep all of your folders in a filing cabinet or drawer for easy access and safe keeping. You don’t want the kids, cat, or dog that eats homework to mess up your system.
A Simple Budget
Keeping your budget simple is another key to good management. There’s no need to know the exact numbers, but keeping a general budget is still necessary. It allows you to see where your money is going every month and it can help you to better understand your habits. You may even find some bad habits you have that can be curbed to save you more money, such as eating out too often.
To learn more about budgets, you can check out our Budget Speed Dating Article.
Curb Impulse Spending
There are also daily habits to consider, such as impulse spending and poor purchase decisions. If you find yourself struggling with impulses, it may be important to take a step back from the situation to practice a little mindfulness. Be aware that it’s an impulse and take the initiative to sleep on it. Or, if you do end up with the product, leave it sealed for a day or two. That way you can take it back if you decide it was an impulse buy.
Use a Credit Card or Cash
Credit cards can be a great way to help manage your money! Not only do you not have to worry about forgetting your cash at home, but you’ll be able to easily track your spending. You can see exactly what you spend and where without keeping track of those pesky receipts. But, you should make sure to follow best practice if you decide a credit card is right for you! It’s important to make sure you pay your bill on time, track your monthly statement, and keep your balance low. Though, if you prefer to see and feel physical money, then use cash! Just make sure to have a safe place for all of your receipts.
Aside from immediate goals, you’ll need to look into long-term planning. “Out of sight, out of mind,” can be a big problem when it comes to planning. Your future isn’t right in front of you, so you’re not thinking about it. Creating a plan to save for retirement and other large expenses can help secure things in that area. If you manage your large expenses now, you won’t be in a bad spot when the time finally comes to deal with them.
No matter how you choose to manage your finances, the most important thing is that your strategy works for you! Is there something you do that isn’t mentioned above? We’d love for you to leave a comment and share it with us.