Five ways to simplify your finances in the modern world
Money is a complex subject, talking about it is still considered pretty taboo by a lot of people and so it can be hard to get advice when you need it. This means that making mistakes with money is much more easily done- what you need to do is keep your finances as simple as possible. Here are five ways to go about it.
Simplify your bill paying
Bills are annoying but they’re something that all of us have to deal with in adulthood. If you want to keep a roof over your head, make sure your home has gas, electricity, water and other services then it’s something you’ll be paying on an ongoing basis! You don’t need to wait until your bill drops through the door each month and mess around phoning up the companies to pay them, that’s a hassle and time-consuming. Automate and simplify where you can. A good way to do this is to open a separate bank account which is only used for your bills. Set everything to come out of this account by direct debit. Work out how much needs to be paid in to cover them, and each week or month when you get paid, you simply transfer that set amount into the account. Start off with a buffer to get you going, then from there your bills essentially take care of themselves. Each payday, you only have one transfer to make- rather than multiple different bills to pay. We all lead busy lives, something that saves you potentially an hour a month isn’t to be sniffed at! With this method, nothing gets missed or forgotten about meaning it’s a great way to protect your credit score. If you open an account with the same bank as you’re currently with, whenever you check your regular online banking you’ll be able to keep tabs on your bills account too.
Online banking is a technology that we should all be using and comfortable with this day in age, but there are plenty of other kinds of tech and software to make your life easier too. From accounting software to receipt OCR which allows you to turn your receipts into data, to budgeting software and apps and much more. If you run your own business or freelance in any capacity then you’ll be familiar with many of these things, but there are lots of great tech options for everyone.
Hire an accountant or financial advisor
Finances can be incredibly tricky, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of money or running a business. Take the stress and burden away and find yourself a good financial advisor or accountant who can handle matters for you. Their experience means that nothing will be overlooked, and they can let you know what directions to go in that make the best sense for you. For example, if you have an inheritance and have a lot of money sitting in the bank, it could be better to invest carefully as your money will work harder for you. If you run a business, your tax return can get quite complex so if you don’t want to end up with a huge headache every April then this is the sensible thing.
It’s a fact, jobs aren’t ‘for life’ like they used to be. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just means that the world we live in is constantly changing and evolving, and the work people now do over the course of their life tends to move with these trends. If you’ve moved from job to job over the years, chances are you have a number of pension pots created by your employers and things are a little all over the place. Take the time to find and merge them, this is your money after all and is what will support you one day when you finally retire. If you don’t have a pension pot then consider setting one up as early on as you can, the more time you have to save, the larger the chunk of money you’ll be able to put away.
Stop using cash
There are some situations where you can only use cash to buy things, although these days, many places will give you the option to pay on debit or credit card. The problem with cash is that it’s more difficult to account for when you’re combing through your finances from the past few months perhaps to draw up a budget (or just work out where you’re overspending) chances are you won’t remember exactly where that money went. When you pay on card, you can see details from the exact shop you were into how much was spent, it just makes it easier to stay in control of your money.