Simplifying Your Financial Life
July 9, 2021
Managing money as an adult can be stressful. Between checking accounts, savings accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s, bills, mortgages, loans, and more, handling personal finances can be a lot to think about. If the prospect of looking at your budget stresses you out and causes you to put off important financial decisions, it might be time to simplify! With some effort and commitment, you can streamline your personal finances and save yourself time, effort, and money in the future.
Here are some steps you can take to ease your financial stress.
Automate Your Bills
The best way to lighten the load of financial decisions you make each month is to let your financial institution do it for you! Putting all your recurring bills on autopilot can save you significant time and hassle each month. This includes things like credit cards, utilities, insurance, loans, mortgage, and rent. Additionally, automation means you will never have to worry about being late on your payments!
New Tripoli Bank’s online and mobile banking tools both have a Pay My Bills service where you can set up automatic bill payments.
Nobody likes paperwork—it creates a huge mess and often you forget about or misplace important documents. There’s nothing worse than finding an overdue bill in what you thought was a pile of junk mail!
Many services allow customers to opt-in to paperless statements. They will keep important documents in your online account, where you can access them at any time. Not only do you remove the stress of losing your bills, you’re also reducing the clutter in your home!
New Tripoli Bank offers our customers paperless eStatements that are emailed at the end of each month and accessible via our online and mobile banking platforms.
It can be easy to accumulate multiple checking, savings, CDs, loan, and retirement accounts over the years without realizing it. As you hop between financial institutions or start retirement accounts upon being hired at a new job, you leave many accounts floating around that you may forget about. These accounts could cost you money, as is the case for some 401(k)s, where the service fees were previously handled by an employer you no longer work for.
Take some time to identify these accounts and consider consolidating them into your more active accounts. You should close checking and savings accounts with your previous banks and transfer the funds into your current bank. Consider rolling your 401(k)s from former employers into the retirement account connected to your current job. You’ll benefit from having all your funds in one spot for easy access while also minimizing maintenance fees.
You may also want to look at bundling your insurance policies, as many companies offer significant discounts to consumers who take out multiple policies from the same insurer.
Use One Credit Card
Credit card bills are the primary source of stress for modern consumers. If you’re someone who looks for the best deals and rewards with each credit card, it can be easy to find yourself with multiple credit accounts.
You should consider reducing your credit card usage down to a single card. Pick the credit card company that offers you the most in return—cash back, travel rewards, or other perks—and commit to using only that credit card. This will leave you with one bill to pay each month, with the added benefit that your single statement is much easier to monitor for errors or fraud.
Remember that cancelling your credit cards can negatively impact your credit score—we’re simply you to commit to using one. Consider storing the unused cards in a safe place.
Pay Down Debt
This step is obvious but it’s worth bringing up. We’ve put out a few articles on how to effectively pay down debt, but the short explanation is you should prioritize your debt based on interest rate.
List your debts from highest to lowest interest rate, then focus on putting the extra money from your monthly budget into paying down the balance on the highest interest rate. When that debt is paid off, move down the list, paying down the debt with the next-highest interest rate and so on. While this is a slow process, you’ll end up paying less money in the long term on compounded interest.
Set Savings to Automatic
If you have the capability to save money each month after paying for bills and necessities, you should consider setting up an automatic transfer of money from your main account into a savings account. This takes the responsibility of saving your money out of your hands, with the added benefit of making sure that money is tucked away before you have a chance to spend it.
New Tripoli Bank customers can set up automated, recurring transfers between their accounts utilizing our online and mobile banking tools.
Focus on Important Goals
It is a great thing to have financial goals. Whether you’re planning to buy a car, a home, or simply looking to retire with a sizeable nest egg, these goals help focus your budget and save effectively. Just make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew!
Try to limit yourself to one or two big savings goals at a time. Ideally one of them should be saving for retirement, since you want to get a jump start to take advantage of compounding interest. But you should set another savings goal, then focus on completing that goal before moving onto another. You’ll find that limiting yourself helps you reach each goal faster.
The one thing to remember when you set out to simplify your financial life is this: you’re committing to a lot of legwork upfront to ease your stress in the long run. Take some time to plan out what you want to accomplish and set some realistic targets that you can hit.
If you need help simplifying your financial life, New Tripoli Bank has the tools you need to take some of the financial burden off your shoulders. Consider signing up for one of our free checking accounts, which gives you access to online banking tools like automated bill payments, money management tools, and paperless eStatements. We also have knowledgeable friendly staff who are always ready to help our customers simplify their financial life.