One of the things that costs people a lot of money is not being organized! It is a simple fix and you can even automate your finances quickly and easily. Doing mine took me less than 30 minutes and it has given me peace of mind. Knowing that I won’t miss a payment or have to pay hefty late fees helps me be more confident about my fiances.
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If your employer offers you a 401K make sure that you are signed up to have your money taken directly out of your paycheck. My advice is that if your employer will match a certain percentage, like 6%, then make sure you are taking that full amount out of your paycheck every pay period. You won’t have to worry about it, it is already going to be taken out before you even get your paycheck.
If you don’t have a 401K but you still want an easy way to invest, check out Betterment. There’s no researching which investments you need to purchase or at what percentage for each. Betterment does this for you automatically. This makes investing easy for beginners.
Checking and Credit Cards
First of all, make sure that your paycheck is being put in your checking account through direct deposit if your employer offers that. It is the easiest way to make sure your money goes straight to the bank.
Sit down and link all of your bills like mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc. to your checking or credit card account. Which account you link to your bills will depend on how you normally pay. I know that a lot of people like paying with their credit cards because they can earn rewards. Just make sure you pay it off every single month.
By having your bills linked to your payment, you won’t have to worry about missing a payment and having to pay late fees. Most banks offer online bill pay so this should be very easy to set up.
If you are paying all of your bills with your credit card, make sure you link your credit card to your checking account so you won’t miss paying that off at the end of the month.
You can easily link your checking account to your savings account so that every month you can have money taken out and put in your savings. You should also link the two accounts to help prevent overdraft. If you accidentally overdraw from your checking, the money can be taken out of your savings so you won’t have to pay a big overdraft fee.
To see how much you can put away into savings each month, sign up for Personal Capital. It is a free and very easy to use budgeting program. You just link all of your accounts and it puts together a report of where all your money is going. They even help you keep track of any investments and offer a retirement calculator.
Even though automating your finances saves you a ton of time and money, you still need to keep an eye on your accounts. Just go in once a month and make sure that you are being charged the correct amount and that there are no fraudulent charges.
Check your checking account at least once a month to make sure you aren’t at risk for overdrafts.
Most companies handle payments online so linking your accounts should be very simple and straight forward. It took me less than 30 minutes to automate all of my accounts and it has taken a lot of worry off of my plate.