Are you, like many Americans, looking for a way to radically simplify your financial life? Doing so can not only reduce stress and free up cash now, it can finally set you on a path to freedom and a more secure future.
But, how can you begin? Here are 6 ways to tighten up your finances and make them simpler all around.
Consolidate Accounts. Gather all your various accounts -- including bank accounts, credit unions, credit cards, retirement accounts, Health Savings Accounts, and insurance bills -- and then work to reduce the sheer number of different accounts and/or institutions. The result will be much easier to keep track of and you'll be able to assess the real state of your retirement planning and debt obligations. You can also avoid unnecessary fees by closing unneeded accounts and setting up automatic transfers where needed.
Use Cash. Cash is king, they say. And, for financial simplicity, it's often true. Using cash frees you from having to keep receipts, check balances, and pay extra bills during the month. Studies have shown that the act of using greenbacks may even cause you to spend less by itself. In a debit card reliant society, it may take some time to develop new habits, but those habits can make your life easier in the long run.
Go Digital. Paperwork is becoming a thing of the past... and good riddance! Sort through your piles of paperwork at home to get rid of as much as you can -- including out of date tax returns, old receipts, unnecessary statements, and things like these. If you really do need to keep something, scan it digitally and store it on a hard drive instead of piling up on your desk. Ridding yourself of excess paper will reduce your visual and emotional burden.
Get Rid of Debt. Many of the above tips for de-cluttering your financial life will also help you achieve a reduction in debt. Freeing yourself from debt payments and discouraging balances will help you take control of your finances and your life. Simplifying your finances should eventually help you reach a goal of having only one credit card payment each month... if even that. The money you save can be directed toward better goals, like retirement planning.
Make a Plan. Talking to a professional financial planner may not seem like a way to simplify your finances, but it can work wonders. Many people feel overwhelmed particularly by trying to plan for retirement on their own, and getting help will undoubtedly help make it manageable. Try to focus on 2 or 3 specific goals -- like retirement or home ownership -- at a single time.
Whatever your reason for needing to simplify your financial life, adopting these few simple ideas will surely take you a long way toward reaching that goal and reducing stress in every aspect. Talk with a company like Estate & Financial Strategies, Inc. for more information.