Managing your personal finances is often difficult, and it takes both time and energy to do so effectively. And when you have a family, you often have additional expenses to manage. The good news is that with a few steps, you can simplify matters so you can take control of your funds
Simplifying Multiple Accounts
If you only have a couple of credit cards, you will not have as many to manage. You can also try relying more on debit or cash to pay for purchases. Of course, you might feel the small inconvenience of managing your credit card is worthwhile since you might get rewards on them. Having fewer bank accounts is also a wise idea since you will not have to do as much to stay on top of all of them. Check which institutions have bank fees and consider consolidating your accounts with another institute that does not charge fees. If you have debt from multiple sources, you might consider consolidating that as well. One way of doing so is to take out a personal loan from a private lender to pay everything back. While you will still need to pay back the loan over time, it is a great way to simplify the family finances going forward.
Having a Separate Work Area
You will want to separate your finances from your other affairs, so it is easier to keep track of everything. Purge any documents or papers that you no longer need. Many times, the papers you receive in the mail are not useful. Shred any that contain sensitive information. File the documentation you do need, such as wills, receipts for tax purposes, or important financial statements. Then you can find them quickly. Organizing your documents within your workspace and making your home office more efficient also means that you will save time when accessing your financial documents. Staying organized is not nearly as challenging as getting organized in the first place, so do it once, create a system, and stick to what works for you.
It is also a good idea to have a separate email account for finances, so you don’t miss any important announcements. Communicate with family and friends through a separate account. The account dedicated to your finances should opt-out of promotional emails, which can clutter up the inbox. That way, you will only need to go through relevant emails. If you have a partner with who you share your finances with, it’s important to ensure you are both on the same page. You might decide to split the tasks so you can both stay on top of things.
Using the Help of Electronics
You can automate many things to simplify your finances. For instance, when you get paid, have your bank account automatically transfer a certain amount into the savings account based on the amount you wish to save. This is also a great way to contribute to your emergency fund, a house payment, or even retirement. When you forget about the funds being automatically transferred away, you are also less likely to be tempted to spend these funds. Automatic bill payment can help you avoid fees for late-payments as well. Start with a couple of bills to set up the process and go from there. Many banks offer automatic bill payments. And getting electronic bills and statements can reduce waste while helping keep your home less cluttered. When you need to transfer funds, try to do so electronically instead of using paper checks.