How confident are you when it comes to handing out personal finance tips to others? Are you less qualified to give it than to receive it? Most people are. But getting out of debt is only a small part of most people’s financial goals.
If you’ve been in debt for a while, you may even accustomed to the debt lifestyle. Some characterize this behavior as lazy. Getting back on track requires you to change your mindset and actions in a significant way.
The bottom line is, you can’t afford to be lazy. But truth be told, many people are aloof when it comes to their finances. Now is the best time to get motivated and focused on your money management goals. Sometimes, this can mean finding someone who can serve as a financial educator or mentor.
Until you find one, refer to the personal finance tips below to improve your financial situation.
Stay Up to Date
What’s the interest rate on the credit card you owe most on? Do you know exactly how much you owe on your student loan, right now? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to find out now. Set up online statements and commit to chequing this information regularly. You can’t get out of debt if you have no idea of where you stand.
Speaking of which, when was the last time you checked your credit score? You can get a free credit report once a year, every year. Schedule a date in your online calendar to remind you when you can request it. Once you receive the reminder, ask for your report and stay in tune with your financial health.
Make Bill Payments Invisible
While auto payments for services that aren’t necessary or ones you may forget about are not recommended, it is beneficial to sign up for auto payments. Automatic payments for necessities such as your phone bill, insurance, and mortgages are easy to set up.
Say goodbye to late fees and the hassle of looking for your password to log in to pay bills each month.
Go Tech – Use Budgeting Apps
Instead of going through the numbers yourself by adding up income and expenses and seeing where your money is being spent, get a budgeting app! There are many great budgeting apps out there that will categorize each of your expenses and group them letting you know where your money is going. They do all the work for you and there are plenty of great free options out there like Mint, Penny, or Wally. Sync your app of choice with your bank account, categorize expenses and then the app will do all the math for you.
Bundle Up to Save
Bundling services wherever possible is great. It helps lower your costs and turns multiple bills into a single bill. So, you benefit with lower and fewer payments. Common bundles include:
- auto, home, and life insurance
- Phone, internet and cable
- Multiple users for streaming services or memberships
- Banking services
Bundling services doesn’t just save time, but money as well; you’ll receive a discount for bundling services from the same company.
Automate Savings – Pay Yourself First
The first tip that pops up when giving personal finance tips is opening a savings account. A savings account is beneficial for many reasons, but lazy people often forget to periodically transfer cash to it. A better idea is to set up regular direct deposits to avoid the hassle of transferring funds when you remember.
Take it a step further by establishing multiple bank accounts for different purposes, such as:
- Personal spending
- Emergency fund
- Recurring Bills
- Home or car fund
- Vacation fund
If they send a debit card, label each to keep track. Once you open these accounts, you can have a certain amount deposited directly from your paycheck to each account. Ensure you investigate free accounts with no minimum requirements or charges.
If you take the time to plan it correctly, you don’t have to think about what’s due when. Just a little time and attention up front can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.
One of the main tenets of building wealth is investing. Once you start saving money on late fees and essentials, use them to invest automatically. There are many savings and investment apps such as Acorns and Betterment that make investing a breeze.
Commit to investing a small amount regularly and you can pad your retirement generously over a few decades. Save for retirement without even thinking about it! We’re talking thousands of dollars if you leave the funds untouched.
Subscribe and Save
You can opt in for Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program to receive a discount on items you regularly use and purchase. The subscription for your products of choice is monthly and items can be edited at any time. It’s beneficial not only for savings, but also because your order is delivered right to your doorstep (which is perfect if you’re lazy). It helps to avoid going to the store last minute or not being able to visit a budget store, only to end up spending more and also not receiving the discount.
Buy Generic Products
Many people love using coupons to save. But it can take a lot of time and effort to find them. For some, it’s a hobby that leads to a thrill each time they find a deal. That’s great. But for the lazy person, the time required may not be feasible. Instead of scouring the internet and newspapers for coupons, buy products that are low priced to begin with, such as generic store brands.
While manually finding coupons online or in newspapers takes a lot of time and effort, you can automate the process for online purchases through browser add-ons like Gumdrop and Honey that help save in a variety of product categories.
Get Rid of Debt and Consolidate!
Do you have credit card debt or some other outstanding loans? It’s time to consolidate. Debt isn’t just stressful, but expensive too with all of the added interest. If you’re lazy with money, start getting rid of your debt now. If you don’t take action now, you probably won’t later on either and it’ll just keep piling on.
If your savings are depleting and you’re in debt, it may be time that you asked for help. Give us a call at 1-888-294-3130 today to speak to a trained credit counsellor and find out how you can get your budget under control.