With all of the turmoil and upheaval taking place around the world right now, streamlining and simplifying our daily lives has become more valuable than ever. That includes streamlining your financial picture in order to free yourself up to focus time and attention where it’s needed most. From putting bills on autopay to reducing monthly expenses, here are some of the ways personal finance experts recommend tidying up your financial act.
Perform an Income and Expense Evaluation
One of the first and most important steps to take when it comes to simplifying your financial picture is to conduct a thorough review of your expenses and income.
“Doing so will allow you to cut out expenses and better adapt to your situation. This can be a little time consuming. But do it once, and you won’t have to worry about tracking your budget again. The simplest way to do this is on an Excel sheet.”Adem Selita
Cut Non-Essential Spending
Take the expense evaluation effort one step further. After you’ve identified areas of spending that are not essential, eliminate them.
“Right now, isn’t the time to splurge. It’s not a good time to go on a shopping spree if you’re concerned about finances. Instead, cut out anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Try to find free alternatives for the fun things you enjoy.”Julie Ramhold
“Now’s a good time to stick to staying in for date nights, returning to hobbies you already have the supplies for; or even just catching up that stack of books you’ve been meaning to read.”Julie Ramhold
Create a Balance Sheet
Ultimately simplifying finances is about creating a greater sense of control and understanding over your financial life — which can lead to better financial decision making, says Jacob Sadler, a certified financial planner for Woodstone Financial. “The 30,000-foot view of your financial life is your balance sheet. Every account, every asset, every liability — all in one place. Do this every year to keep your finger on the pulse of your personal financial life,” says Sadler.
Set Aside One Day Per Month to Review Your Finances
Designate a specific day each month or every few weeks to pay any bills that you can’t use autopay for, and to review all of your accounts, says Wade Schlosser, CEO and founder Solvable. “Look for unusual charges, review subscriptions you may not want to keep anymore, and ensure any direct deposits you were expecting came in,” says Schlosser.
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Culled from: Cheapism.