Let’s face it, managing money can be stressful, whether you have it or not. It can put plenty of weight on your shoulders and the sinking feeling sets in if you are starting to become buried in debt. While handling the finances can be overwhelming, there are a few ways that you can make life a little easier for yourself by not only first taking a deep breath, but to make some adjustments in your life that you will allow you to be more successful handling the family finances.
Review Finances More Often
It can be quite a shock to go over your bank or credit card statement when it comes in, seeing that total due by the beginning of the month, wondering where you are going to be able to come up with the money to pay off the balance. By reviewing the finances more often, such as weekly, you can go over every dollar spent during the month, not to mention each bill coming due to ensure you have gotten it down to the lowest it can be (i.e., electric, gas, cable, cell phone).
Get Rid of Paper Statements
Reminded of the Seinfeld episode when Kramer decides he no longer is accepting mail, it can be annoying not only to check the mailbox each day, but to make sure you are receiving everything you should. When it comes to bills, statements, etc., turn off paper statements and start to receive emails. You will receive right away and can plan ahead with plenty of advance of it coming due to ensure you have sufficient funds.
Automate Direct Deposits
I’m assuming that your paycheck is already direct deposited (if it’s not, that should be the first thing you do tomorrow morning with your employer), but more specifically, once you have paid bills for the month, do you manually transfer money over to your savings account? If there is money leftover in your checking account you will likely spend it, so save the trouble and set a predetermined direct deposit to your savings account each paycheck and avoid manually transferring money back and forth.
Equalize Monthly Bill Payments
Bills are due at all points in the month, so one way I’ve been able to have success is to divide up the bills as equally you can for each paycheck. Let’s say for example half of your bills you can pay with the first paycheck and the other half with the second. That way you can avoid any shortages and have more of a set payment and spending money available schedule.
Stick to a Single Card for Purchases
Credit cards can be tricky, with virtually endless spending limits, so you may be enticed to use many cards, but it will be significantly easier if you stick to one credit card or debit card for purchases, knowing what you have spent and when it is due. Picking the card with the best rewards program can net you plenty of savings, whether is in redeemable points or a cashback check once a year.