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Are you looking for new ways to simplify your financial life? Let’s get real, managing your money and business isn’t easy.
And I totally get it! I am always seeking new ways and tips to become more mindful in my life and business. I strive to be a mindful consumer, thoughtful eater, and smarter spender.
If these are your goals too then I have some tips that will help you get started. You’ll be able to take back control of your finances while simplifying the entire process.
And I mean, who doesn’t want that?! So, if you’re looking for practical steps that you can implement into your life today, you’ve come to the right place.
With that in mind, here are 14 tips for how to simplify your financial life right now. You’ll be able to spend more time on things that really matter!
1. Clean out your wallet
When was the last time you cleaned out your wallet or purse? If you’re like me, it’s probably long overdue for some lovin’. I don’t know why we wait so long, as this process only takes a few minutes. And it makes us feel so much better!
Take everything out of your wallet and lay it on a clean surface. Keep the important cards, receipts, and coins, then toss any trash and other non-essentials.
Then neatly put everything back into your wallet or purse in the order in which you use it. You want to organize your wallet in a way that makes sense, while still having everything easily accessible.
And if you need to purchase a new wallet that functions better, do it! Learning how to simplify your financial life means having items that work for you, not against you.
2. Automate saving money
I don’t know about you, but one of the hardest things about saving money is actually saving money — and then leaving it alone. It seems that once you do finally stash a few dollars away, you end up using the money. Am I right?!
This is why I love using Digit. It’s an app that makes saving money fun and easy. It works via text message and withdraws very small amounts of money from your bank account every couple of days (usually only $1-5). It’s free for the first 100 days and then only $2.99 per month after that.
You forget the money is there because it can only be accessed online or via text message. So you end up saving money without thinking!
If you’ve been struggling with putting your savings on autopilot, give Digit a try for free.
3. Improve your credit score
Let’s face it, there’s no way to be financially successful in this life without having a healthy credit profile. If you plan on buying a house you’ll need a mortgage. If you’re starting a new business it’s likely that you’ll need a business loan.
And both of these goals means you’ll have to rely on good credit to qualify for a loan. This is why reviewing and improving your credit score regularly is an important part of simplifying your financial life. You’ll be able to qualify for loans with a super lower interest rate, and have the option of saving a ton of money in the long-term.
In addition, having a healthy credit history proves that you’re a responsible adult who can manage your money successfully. And that’s something we all want, right?
To get started, check out CreditRepair.com. Their mission is to empower individuals to achieve good credit scores so you’ll have greater opportunities and can actually enjoy life. And the best part is that you can get free help in the form of a personal credit consultation, credit report audit, and recommended solutions from experts.
Click here to read more about how CreditRepair.com can help you!
4. Track your time like it’s money
There’s a popular saying that “what gets measured gets managed” and this couldn’t be more true of tracking your time. A budget is a great way to track where your money’s going, so why not track your time too?
You already know that time is a finite resource, and that there will always be more money. This is why it’s so important to track your time like it’s money. How?
I recommend using an app like RescueTime. It’s one of the best tools I use to reclaim my time and stay focused while working at home. It keeps tabs of your web activity so you can see how your time is being spent every day. That way you can adjust your time and be more focused.
Click here to find out my other favorite tools for reclaiming your time and staying focused.
5. Put retirement on autopilot
No matter what age you are, it can seem impossible to save the amount of money you need to retire. I swear that every time I look up inflation has increased and I need to save $2 million just to make it in retirement.
Saving enough for retirement seems to be a goals that’s constantly changing. How are you supposed to hit a target that never stops moving? Ugh.
Instead of maxing out your retirement accounts, start with smaller goals. Put your retirement investing on autopilot by using apps like Betterment or Acorns. Betterment is an online brokerage firm that makes investing for retirement incredibly easy. It’s something that I currently use and love, and have for many years.
And Acorns allows you to start small with investing without risking a lot of money. You can get started with just a few dollars and learn what you can about the investing world. Then as your money and retirement savings grows, you can increase your goals with bigger ones.
Click here to learn more about to automate your retirement savings with Betterment.
6. Listen to audiobooks on the go
If you want to simplify your financial life you need to read more books — specifically money or business books. While this advice might be simple, it doesn’t always seem easy. I mean, when do you have time to read a book about budgeting better, paying less taxes, or earning more money? (Ack, boring!)
Well, the good news is that you can listen to audiobooks anytime, anywhere. Which means you can listen to financial nuggets of wisdom while you’re doing chores, working out, or on your morning commute. #nomoreexcuses
I’ve made audiobooks part of my morning routine and I listen for about 30 minutes every day while I’m on my morning walk. I’ve already gone through 9 books this year thanks to the Audible app.
Click here to try Audible for listening to new audiobooks on the go.
7. Pay off debt without thinking
Nearly everyone will agree that the biggest stressor in life is being in debt. It weighs on you and becomes heavier and heavier. This is why you should strive to pay off your debt quickly. Start by making automatic payments towards your debts that cover at least the minimum amount due.
This is one thing I did when I paid off $14,000 of debt and became debt free. I was able to pay off my debt without thinking because I set up recurring minimum payments while making extra payments as I could.
Making at least the minimum payments on your debts ensures you don’t miss any payments and can avoid any late fees. It’s also less stressful as you’re then able to streamline your debt management and can start paying off debt without thinking.
Read more about the 10 things you can do to start paying off debt quickly.
8. Meditate with money mantras
Ever since reading the book, You Are a Badass at Making Money, I’ve been obsessed with money mantras. I have them written in my journal and say them every morning while I eat breakfast. They’re on post-it notes on my desk and I have reminders on my fridge.
Even with all those daily reminders I still find that best time to say my money mantras are when I’m meditating. I only meditate for 10 minutes a day but it gives me so much motivation to reach my financial goals. Give it a try!
Here are some of my own money mantras:
- Financial opportunities are all around me, I just have to reach out and grab them.
- Being rich allows me to me be more of who I truly am.
- Having more money means I can always be a giver.
- My bank account is overflowing with money and opportunities to help others.
- Money allows me, and those I love, to pursue our passions with no limits.
- Money is a resource that allows me to live an awesome life.
Click here to read another list of great successful money mantras.
9. Cancel unwanted subscriptions
Paying for recurring subscriptions every month is easy. But knowing what you’re actually paying for, or how to cancel them, is a bit harder. I mean, when was the last time you took a look at all your monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscriptions, line-by-line?
Yeah, it’s not a fun process. But it’s these little holes on your money bucket that can drain your budget dry.
Because of this, it’s important to cancel unwanted subscriptions or recurring expenses that no longer serve you. The simplest and least time consuming way to do this is by using Trim.
Trim is an app that works as your personal assistant in saving you money. Once you link your bank account, Trim will review and search all of your transactions.
It will then list out all of the subscription-type services that you’re paying for. Then with one quick click you can cancel them, or keep them. And with money in your pocket you just became a more mindful spender.
Click here to give the Trim app a try for free!
10. Be a mindful consumer
As someone who got rid of 30% of my belongings after moving from Texas to Colorado, I now understand why buying less is one of the keys to simplifying your financial life. Not only do you save money, but you can also save yourself a ton of time and headaches.
In other words, being a mindful consumer means buying less, extending the life of items you already own, and getting rid of stuff that’s no longer serving you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more or buying more, but there needs to be a limit.
Force yourself to stick to the rule of “one in, one out”. For every item you purchase (for example, a new book) get rid of another one you no longer use, or have finished. You can donate unwanted items, sell them with an app like Decluttr, or give them a friend who will take better care of them.
Find out how to sell your books or other electronics using the Decluttr app.
11. Sync bill due dates with your calendar
How do you organize your bills and payment dates? Maybe you use a task management system like Asana to remind yourself to pay bills on specific days. Or maybe you list them out as appointments in your calendar. Both of these strategies are smart but can often feel like you’re doubling your efforts.
Did you know that you can combine both of these tactics into one simple solution? This is where Focuster comes in. Focuster is a focus management app that I use to sync my bill due dates with my task list.
This makes it easy to schedule out payment dates to make sure you will have enough money, as well as have a reminder for the day the bill actually needs to be paid.
Try using Focuster to sync your bill due dates with your calendar.
12. Process the paperwork
Even with digital statements, electronic invites, and email inboxes, our world still consists of a lot of paperwork. This is especially evident if you run a business. There are contracts, business plans, and legal papers that need to be saved and stored away.
In fact, the IRS still encourages individuals and business owners to keep copies of their tax returns, and corresponding tax documents, for at least 7 years. So, there’s always a ton of paperwork lying around (or is it just me?!).
When learning how to simplify your financial life, make time each week to process the paperwork. I do this every Monday during my weekly budget meeting as a way of staying on top of the never-ending pile of papers.
I also have a portable shredder that I keep close to my desk so I can shred sensitive information quickly. The sooner you process the paperwork the simpler your finances and life will become!
Find out 5 simple ways to declutter your life and finances right now.
13. Record your budget by hand
When I first took a 12-week class to become a Tax Specialist, I was a bit overwhelmed by the fact that we had to complete ALL of the tax forms by hand. Yep, we had to learn how to add, subtract, and fill in tax forms manually.
This process was not easy, my friend. But I learned the ins-and-outs of all the tax laws. It also gave me the confidence to understand all of the tax laws and why they work.
Wouldn’t you like to know that your CPA or tax professional fully understands each tax form and why it’s used? Me too (which is part of the reason I took this class — it was very thorough).
Why am I telling you this? Just like with my tax class, you’ll learn more, and become more confident, about your money when you track your spending manually.
In other words, write down all of your income and expenses by hand. Being more mindful about your money means focusing on every transaction that goes through your account.
Trust me when I say it’s not easy (I record and review my transactions every Monday afternoon), but it will make you think twice before swiping your card.
Find out the best business and money planners for entrepreneurs to get organized.
14. See what you can live without
Do you really need two cars for your family? I have asked (and answered!) this question myself over the past year. And ya know what? Only having one car actually didn’t change my lifestyle much at all. Anytime I need the car while my husband is at work, I use my bike or catch a ride on public transit.
Will you even notice if you get rid of half of your belongings? Probably not. Since moving across the country, the hubs and I have gotten rid of a large portion of what we own (partially because we only have one closet in our 700 sq. foot apartment).
My realization throughout this process is that you don’t need as much as you think you do, and you can easily learn to live with less.
So maybe seeing what you can live without isn’t the huge sacrifice we initially thought it would be. Do an experiment to see what you can live without, and you may just watch your life become happier and healthier because of it. Not to mention, your wallet will be a bit thicker too!
Check out BillFixers and see how you can save money on bills every month, or cut them altogether.
The bottom line about being mindful
I’ve shared a lot of personal tips for how to simplify your life but the real point I want to get across is that being mindful takes time. You have to be open to trying new things, reviewing old things, and constantly experimenting. And even in this digital age, sometimes there’s nothing more effective than doing it by hand.
Take action by trying one of these tips (or several) this week. I promise that you’ll come away with simpler finances as well as being more mindful about your money.
You can do it!