6 Simple Steps to Finally Getting Financially Organized
“It’s too hard.”
“I just don’t know where to start.”
Sound like you when it comes to personal finances? We hear ya.
That’s why we’re here to help you do one thing: simplify.
Simplify your bills, your budget, your life… With fun stuff like robots and dates and bonfires.
Yup, really! Keep reading to see what we mean.
1. Let the Robots Take Control
Let’s face it: Humans don’t have as good a memory as robots and there are already enough things to consider when it comes to your finances.
So stop relying on yourself to remember your financial checklist. Instead, leave it up to the machines.
Ensure you have enough funds in your account and automate everything you possibly can. Set up weekly withdrawals from your checking account to your Roth IRA, automate payments for your bills and have monthly withdrawals go into a separate emergency fund.
2. Clean Out Your Wallet
One way to quickly reduce financial overwhelm?
Reduce the amount of plastic in your wallet, and stick to a card that actually helps you save money.
Who wants to keep track of rotating rewards categories or constantly-expiring points and miles?
You might try one like the Quicksilver card from Capital One, which offers a straightforward 1.5% cash back on all your purchases.
3. Tear Up Your Budget
Is there anybody out there who actually enjoys budgeting and budget-tracking?
OK… the three people who raised their hands can skip this bullet.
If you’re like the rest of us, budgeting is difficult and complicated. So our founder Kyle suggests turning the traditional budget on its head.
“Instead of having a budget with a bunch of categories, just figure out how much you need to spend each month on necessities and savings,” he explains. “Once you subtract that from your monthly take-home pay, you’ll have the amount of ‘fun money’ you can spend.”
To manage your fun money, he suggests either withdrawing it in cash each week, or creating an automatic transfer into a separate account.
4. Start Dating Yourself
We swear this isn’t as weird as it sounds.
We’re simply suggesting you make a quarterly date with yourself — and your money. After all, to true Penny Hoarders, nothing says romance like healthy finances!
During this date — which you can set as a recurring appointment in your calendar — review your spending, see how you’re progressing toward goals, trim unnecessary subscriptions, check your credit report.
If you don’t know where to find yours, you can get your score for free with Credit Sesame.
5. Have a Huge Bonfire
You’ve probably got a bunch of boxes and folders filled with financial paperwork you don’t need anymore.
Scan all of those docs and be sure to save them on a secure file (this is important – you need these!). Then, eliminate all the physical and mental clutter… with a bonfire.
Not only will it feel good to burn those superfluous stacks, you can also use it as an excuse for a fun get-together with your friends.
Once you’re done, say goodbye to extra paper. Sign up for electronic statements on all your accounts.
6. Thwart the Bad Guys
It’s time to start listening to your mom: Identity thieves are a real threat.
Since there’s no way you’re going to stop using the internet, you should at least take measures to protect yourself.
First off, quit using your pet’s name as your password!
Instead, use a random password generator to create secure passwords from a selection of symbols, numbers and uppercase/lowercase letters.
You should also check to see what security your credit cards offer, too — some of them are woefully out of date!
Do yourself a favor and look into your financial security before it becomes a headache.
Basically, personal finance is as complicated as you make it.
If you want to invest in an array of stocks and carry an arsenal of cards, be our guest…
But if you want to manage your finances simply and efficiently, it just takes these six easy steps.
Your Turn: How have you simplified your finances?
Sponsorship Disclosure: A huge thanks to Capital One for working with us to bring you this content. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to share something so awesome and get paid for it!