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Does your heart race when you think about your account balances? Do you have a minor panic attack when you log into your bank account and are hoping there is enough money to cover your rent or mortgage?
It used to be the same for me. I would only look if a bill was coming up, or when the 1st of the month rolled around. I am happy to say that I am no longer in that position. The best advice for getting that heart beat back to normal and avoiding those stressful situations? Check your bank account and credit card balances more often. Yep, I said it.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Make a list of all of your bills, payments, etc. Include the date each month they are due, the amount due, and if they are loan, car or credit card payments, I also suggest including the remaining balance. This will allow you to see how much is left over each month and help give you the motivation to start paying a little extra each month as you watch the balance dwindle down. This will only take at most 15 minutes of your time each month to update the balances and check the new payment amount if it changes.
- Pay your bills once a month. Now, I know from experience that this will be completely impossible for some of you who are living paycheck to paycheck, that’s okay. For those you who can’t, I would suggest at least using your bank/credit unions “bill pay” system to schedule these payments to come out automatically. This can save you time and money, by avoiding any late fees if you happen to forget about one of your bills.
- Take 60 seconds each morning to get a quick glance at what is going on financially. While you sit down for that quick bowl of cereal or cup of coffee, take a peek at what is going on. The easiest way to do this is to use a resource like Personal Capital to combine all of your accounts into one place. If you prefer not to use this resource, you’ll want to take a look at your most important accounts. Seeing each balance will not only help you detect if something is wrong and give you more time to fix it, but will also help you become more focused on getting your financial life on track. Once a week is simply not enough.
Even just by using these three tips, you should be well on your way to a less stressful experience when logging into your accounts. You should have a general idea of what is going on and be able to start formulating a payoff plan for those pesky debts you’ve accumulated over the years. Remember, money doesn’t grow on debt!
Have more financial tips to help your fellow readers? Leave them in the comments below, sharing is caring!