Declutter Your Bank Account
When was the last time that you went through all of the payments which are scheduled to go out of your bank account each month? These could be subscriptions that you don’t have time for, payments to a gym or fitness club which you no longer attend. Making these payments is literally equivalent to throwing money down the drain and puts you out of pocket.
Go through your bank account with a fine tooth comb, and cancel any payments which you no longer need to make. You may be surprised at the amount that you’re actually paying out when it all adds up. You could save yourself a significant amount of money which can then be put towards savings or other expenditures.
Consolidate & Automate
Many people have a little bit of money here, there and everywhere. Simplifying your financial life is a great energy saver. You probably don’t realise all the mental energy it takes to keep track of all those little things, but they are always humming in the back of your mind. So when you consolidate and automate, mental energy is conserved. Plus, think of all the time it will save to maintain only one account. You may even have more money than you thought.
Set Up Auto-Payments
Most bills recur monthly with a consistent payment amount. For these bills, set up auto-payments through your bank, not through individual websites. That way you can go to one place to get a snapshot of your financial situation at any given time. Taking a little time to set this up will save you hours later, and you will never accidently forget a payment and be charged a hefty fee.
For self-employed people – keep all receipts so taxes are easy to do each year – keep them in a folder on the monthly basis so you can always put your hands on what you need.
You need to keep 5 years of paperwork when you are self-employed – so ensure you have the storage space and that it is secure.
If you don’t have a business, then getting into the habit of keeping your receipts and checking them off against your account each month is very valuable – especially in the days unfortunately where people can get access to your accounts and start helping themselves – you’ll be able to spot this early and put a stop to fraud.
Use One Credit Card
If you want to keep several cards active to improve your credit score, that’s fine. But it’s tough to pay down debt or even just keep mental track of payments when you use multiple cards. Store the other ones in a safe place and only use one card for everything. That means only one statement and one payment a month. Since it will be easier to keep track of, you are also less likely to incur late fees and will notice any suspicious card activity faster.
Tackle Your Debt
If debts are currently stealing away your happiness and calm, the best thing to do is tackle them head on and take control. Ignoring your debts may help you to feel less stressed for a short time, but these feelings of stress soon return. Rather than put your debt worries to the back of your mind, be proactive and call your creditors to alert them to your situation and come to an agreement which works well for both parties and doesn’t contribute to your stress.