Everyone is busy nowadays. No one has time for the little things, like paying your bills on time every month. However, if you don’t pay on time, it can come back to bite you big time. You can get impacted with late fees and interest charges, as well as potentially dropping your credit score. There are some easy ways to manage your money and The Wise Squirrel is here to give you tips to get you started.
Online Bill Pay
Every bank has this available to you in some fashion, and if yours doesn’t, then it may be time to switch banks. The service will allow you to receive paperless statements, link to your account, and automatically pay bills on the due date. Sometimes this can be done through your biller, utility company, mortgager, credit card provider, etc.
You need to simply set up automatic payments for each bill you have due every month. If you haven’t started tracking your bills each month, take a look at my post on How To Start Tracking Your Expenses. Paying bills has never been so easy!
Use Automated Budgeting Tools
Budgeting is one of the most hated personal finance tasks there is. We would rather be strapped for cash at the end of the money then spend time trying to make a budget from our income and expenses.
Fortunately, there are some easy online budgeting tools such as Mint that make it easier than fumbling around in a spreadsheet. You can quickly set up an account and link your bank accounts and credit cards, and the program will categorize your spending for you. They also have reports that you can generate and review to analyze your spending.
Consolidate your debt (if you can)
Managing your debt can be time-consuming, and also expensive. If you have multiple credit cards with balances, a car payment, multiple student loans, and a mortgage, keeping track of everything is a time intensive nightmare. You have to juggle multiple due dates, understand the impact from interest charges, and make sure payments are made so you won’t incur late fees and your credit won’t be impacted.
The best way to manage debt is to merely get rid of it. There are different ways to go about it, you can follow Dave Ramsey’s debt reduction plan with the “debt snowball” or you can also start tackling the debt with the highest interest rates and no tax benefit. There are benefits to each one, the biggest financial impact will come from tackling the highest interest rate debt, but the exhilaration from paying off each debt can be emotional satisfying and “snowball” will soon wipe out all debt.
Fewer debt requires less time to manage and lets you get on with the more important things in life.
Grow your savings effortlessly
Saving money can be a struggle for anyone. Even though we strive to have a savings account with plenty of money for emergencies, dream vacations, and just paying the monthly bills, getting that money there can often be a hassle with transferring funds from one account to another.
To make it easier and let your savings account build on autopilot, set up your paycheck to direct deposit automatically into your savings account. Many employers allow you to split your paycheck between multiple accounts, so send part of it to savings immediately and you will never miss it. If direct deposit with your employer is not an option, banks often let you set up automatic transfers that are almost as good. You will see your savings account grow without any effort.
Ask For a Raise
Do you know what other companies, or even your coworkers, are paying for your position? If you’ve been at your company for a while, you are probably worth more than what your company is paying you. The hard way to solve this problem would be to go find a new job. But since you’re looking for the lazy way to improve your money situation, you’ll want to ask for a raise instead.
Hitting up your boss for more money will require a little bit of effort on your part. You’ll need to research what others are making in your position and industry and craft a pitch to explain why you deserve more. But really, this is way less work than you’d put in searching for new employment.
Better Than Coupons!
Some people (me included) love looking for and clipping coupons. They relish the time spent on Sundays going through the paper and scanning ads and finding deals. For me, coupons are a hobby, I enjoy the process of finding coupons, and it’s fun to present the coupons at the cash register and watch the total bill drop. For others though, it’s a big time commitment that they just see being worth the effort.
Instead of coupons, which are usually for brand name products, buy the store brand instead. The days of huge deals during the extreme couponing faze has fallen by the wayside and sure, there are still great deals available, but for those of you looking for an easier way to save, go generic. You may not end up with the “amazing” savings that those extreme couponers can get, but you will still wind up with savings in your budget. Coupons aren’t for everyone, but going generic definitely should be.
Team Up With Family, Friends and Neighbors
You shouldn’t have to spend time and money buying and maintaining tools and home maintenance stuff that you rarely use. How often do you need a lawn mower or tile cutter? Borrow your family, friend, or neighbor’s instead.
However, sometimes no one has the item you need. So, why don’t you suggest you to go in on the purchase together with someone and share the item? If you’re lucky, you can take the easy way out by giving them your portion of the cost and let them go out and buy it.
If you are creative, you can find some easy ways to manage your money automatically without doing a lot of work. When you love finding ways to save more and earn more, managing your money can be a fun hobby. However, if you’re like most people managing your money is a chore you’d rather find a way out of. That’s when finding the easiest ways stay on top of your cash and bills, and finding quick ways to save and earn more pay off big!