Simplification is a popular topic right now. There are countless books, articles, and podcasts about how to reduce stress and make your life easier. Many people are looking for ways to make their finances less complicated, especially in the wake of an unstable economy, global pandemic, and volatile stock market.
At Guiding Wealth, many of our clients come to us because they feel overwhelmed trying to manage their finances. They have several credit cards, numerous bank accounts, and multiple financial advisors or investment managers. In most cases, this type of system is inefficient and frustrating.
Your finances are important, but you shouldn’t feel like they’re at the forefront of your mind every waking minute of the day. Simplifying your finances gives you the freedom to focus on other areas of your life without worrying that you’re losing control of your money. Here are some practical ways to make your finances more efficient and less complicated.
Find Ways to Automate
There are many tools that you can use to put parts of your money management on autopilot. Most banks allow you to set up automatic transfers and bill payments, so you can “set it and forget it.”
Here are things that are easy to automate:
- Monthly transfers to a savings or retirement account
- Standard bills: rent/mortgage, car payments, loan payments
- Charitable contributions
Most banks also allow you to set up automatic payments for bills that change every month, like utilities and credit cards. Automating your bills means you don’t have to write and mail checks or make manual online payments every month.
We get a lot of clients who are struggling to keep up with all the different financial accounts that they have. Many people have multiple checking and savings accounts at various banks, investment accounts at different financial institutions, and more credit cards than they can fit in their wallets.
This setup, while common, is a hassle to manage. It can be a liability when it comes time to enlist help from others to manage your finances (e.g. sudden illness, aging, retirement). A complicated financial system can also lead to fights with your spouse and confusion in retirement and estate planning.
We encourage our clients to consolidate as much as possible. Cut down on the number of credit cards, and choose one financial institution for your accounts. Ideally, use the same institution for your banking and credit cards so you can manage everything with a single login or branch visit.
Develop Trackable Goals
Having financial goals can simplify your finances, but the wrong kind of goals can actually make things more difficult. When you’re making financial plans, work on creating goals that are easy to identify and measure.
Choose One Financial Advisor to Work With
Finally, a great way to simplify is to reduce the number of people you’re working with. Having multiple financial advisors can seem like a good idea because you can get different advice and perspectives. For most people, however, it ends up being stressful, especially if the advisors end up contradicting each other.
We recommend working with one financial advisor. A Certified Financial Planner™ has the knowledge and experience to help you manage all aspects of your finances. You can get help defining your goals and creating a plan to meet them from an expert who understands your whole financial picture.
Let Us Help You Simplify Your Finances
Simplicity is valuable. Making your finances less complicated frees up mental space and reduces stress and other negative emotions. No matter where you are in your financial journey, the Guiding Wealth team can help you simplify your finances and plan for retirement effectively.
Get started with our free Personal Records Organizer, which helps you collect all your essential financial information in a single place.
Then, call 214-810-3835 or schedule a consultation online to start working with a Guiding Wealth expert. We’ll help you create an efficient system so you can spend less time thinking about your finances and more time focusing on other things.