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5 Tips to Simplify Your Finances

Are you doing everything you can to make your financial life easier? Money Girl has 5 savvy tips to simplify your finances

By
Laura Adams, MBA,
June 15, 2012

5 Tips to Simplify Your Finances

If you’re like me, you want to simplify your personal finances rather than make them more complex. Here are 5 tips to get organized and pare down your files, bills, and accounts to so it’s easier to stay on top of your money:

Tip #1: Maintain a Routine

If you feel overwhelmed about your financial situation, you’re more likely to put off important money tasks. So stick to a routine where you set aside time each week to pay your bills, match receipts to cleared transactions, reconcile bank statements, monitor your budget, review your investments, and complete filing. 

Taking control of your money often starts with getting organized. In my book, Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich, I show you my own system for managing money so you can copy it or use it as a starting point to create your own. 

Tip #2: Opt for e-Documents

Whenever possible, opt for e-bills and e-statements. That helps the environment, reduces the amount of paper you have to process, and helps protect you from identity theft. Create digital folders for the e-documents you need to keep (like tax-related expenses) and make sure to have a reliable back-up system.

Tip #3: Create an Easy Filing System

Even if you heed tip #2 and go digital, you’ll probably still have some incoming paper mail and receipts. To make sure you don’t let papers pile up, sort them using a portable file box with hanging file folders. 

Label the folders to organize receipts, bills, documents to shred, documents to file, and so on, until you can process them. Keep the file box in a handy location where you open your mail, like the kitchen or your home office.

Tip #4: Use Online Bill Pay

Most banks offer fee online bill pay, which is a fantastic way to save time and money. A bill service either transfers your money electronically or mails a paper check to any individual or company in the country that you want to pay—whether it’s your next-door neighbor or your mortgage lender. 

Why not let your bank handle your payments and stop writing checks, addressing envelopes, and buying stamps? Click here for the best high-yield checking accounts that offer services to simplify your life and save you money.

Tip #5: Consolidate Investment Accounts

Investments are much easier to monitor when they’re in one place, so consolidate them whenever possible. You can transfer money from an old 401(k) by doing a tax-free rollover into an IRA or into a retirement plan at your new job. Click here to watch a tutorial on how to open a rollover IRA; it’s probably much easier than you think.

Click here for 25 of the web’s best personal finance and productivity tools that can help you earn more, save more, and accomplish more with your money!

Simplify photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

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