Are you wondering how to manage your finances to save time? Handling your finances can be difficult and stressful, it doesn’t have to be! I will be sharing with you how I manage my finances to save time.
I’m currently on my mini-retirement, which means I’m traveling the world and having a break from working.
I would expect that I have more time to myself and more time to manage my finances – I have to admit that I was totally WRONG.
I love to explore, see new places, climb mountains, and be active. Absolutely zero time is left to manage my finances and track everything that’s currently going on.
Luckily I am naturally a lazy person, meaning that I’m always optimizing so that I can get the maximum result with minimum input. I want to take out as much stress and as much effort as I can.
I’m big on simplifying your life by making everything as easy as it can be. If you simplify your finances, you can spend more time doing the things that you love. Also, you will save a shitload of time and you will have less stress.
Properly managing your finances isn’t hard or complicated. After you’ve read this, you can easily manage your finances.
By showing you how I easily manage my finances, you can also do it to save stress and time.
I Am With One Bank
Technically I have two bank accounts, a savings account plus a checking account. Both are with the same bank, which makes my life a whole lot easier.
I can’t imagine having more than that, especially having multiple accounts at different banks would make me lose the overview.
I can understand that you want to have more than one checking and one savings account, there are many reasons for doing so. You can get a higher interest rate or make sure that your emergency fund money can’t be touched.
In the Netherlands the interest rates are so low, that it doesn’t matter what account you open at which bank account. Interest rates will stay close to zero.
That’s why having accounts at multiple banks seems like extra work that’s unnecessary. Of course I understand someone else would do it, just not me.
[Related Read: 11 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money]
I Automate My Payments
I love to automate things in my life.
The number one thing is do: I pay myself first – meaning that I first put a set amount to the side for investing and crowdlending.
I want to let my low-cost index fund portfolio grow every month.
Besides that, crowdlending is an amazing way to give you passive income. If you didn’t start with crowdlending (or P2P investing) yet, I highly recommend reading how you can start making passive income with peer-to-peer investing.
Besides that, I auto-pay my bills AND I auto-pay my credit card.
I love the fact that I don’t have to check whether I paid everything, transfer bills manually, and I don’t have to worry about my credit card.
It’s hard to forget to pay bills in that way, which is something that would for sure happen if I were to manually pay everything.
At the end of the month, I check all transactions and expenses that have been written off. Most expenses stay the same month over month, so it’s easy to check the payment and see if it is correct.
SIDE NOTE: this is NOT for everyone.
If you’re having an irregular income, it isn’t always possible to automate. That’s great – please adjust this advice to your personal situation.
I Try To Pay (Semi-)Annually
For some expenses, you get a discount if you pay annually.
I like to have all my expenses written off at once, so I don’t have to worry about them for the entire year.
Mostly what I pay annually are some subscriptions and my health insurance. The discount you get for paying annually is mostly 5-7%, which makes it reasonable to pay at once and be done with it.
That means that at the beginning of the year I pay a lot, but that is evened out by the rest of the year.
In October, I still had an average of 75% savings rate for the entire 2019.
If you want to up your savings rate, start here:
- A Simple Approach To The Savings Rate
- 7 Simple Steps To Cut Your Electric Bill In Half
- How I Spend $70 Per Month On Groceries
- 25+ Easy Money Saving Tips
I Put Reminders In My Phone Calendar
When I’m sure I will forget something that is coming up, I create a reminder in my phone’s calendar.
This simplifies things a LOT, since I don’t have to worry about me forgetting a payment or anything else that is important to me.
I create reminders for things like:
- Paying (semi)annual bills, like the aforementioned health insurance or other subscriptions renewing.
- When specific promotions expire, like internet service or electricity. That way we continue to get good deals for most of the things we use.
- Transferring money to my investment accounts, peer-to-peer lending, or friends.
[Related Read: 13 Time Saving Hacks To Find More Free Time]
I Invest In ONE Diversified Fund
Almost all of my investments are in ONE fund, VRWL (this is no investment advice. This is my choice. Every investment decision you take should be thoroughly researched by you).
It’s a low-cost index fund, which is a diversified fund that invests in over 3000 companies from all over the world.
Having everything in one diversified fund makes investing for (early) retirement very easy.
I don’t spend time trying to beat the market, I am very happy with average growth if that means I don’t need to constantly check it.
Your savings rate beats your rate of return anyways!
Other Ways To Simplify Your Finances
I’ve written about simplifying your life and I’ve given you the ways I personally simplify my finances in this article.
Of course, there are a thousand other ways you can simplify your financial life!
There are some of the other things you can do to simplify your finances:
- Pay off your debt. No matter what kind of debt you have, paying it off will simplify your finances a LOT. You will have less stress, free up money for other purposes, and more. For your specific situation, think about if you should pay off debt or invest.
- Only have one credit card. If you’re living in Europe credit card rewards are most likely small, meaning you should travel a lot to get something out of it. Having multiple credit cards would most likely add little reward, so having just one card would save a lot of time and keeps things simple.
- Create a budget. It’s important to know where your money is going and setting targets related to that. Creating a budget that works for you is extremely important. It’s easier to stick to your budget in that way for sure!
- Work with cash only. Many people swear by working with cash envelopes and paying everything in cash. It would simplify your finances a lot, since you don’t have to worry about any payment or credit card debt.
- Try and cut expenses. When you cut expenses, it means that you are saving money and you have less to worry about. Since I cut my expenses, I manage to live on half my income – and I’m sure you can do it too!
How do you manage your finances to save time?