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Balancing work, family, house work, ‘me time,’ and a whole host of other things can be tiring, and it’s inevitable that something is going to give way. And something that everyone spends too much time on is the finances. Money takes up more time than it should, yet if it isn’t seen to, then you would be in a bigger mess than ever. So how do you spend less time balancing the books and more time with the family?
Organizing your finances is the first step. You need to create a detailed budget, which you will stick to. This will help you to plan for months in advance. You will also be able to see where money is being wasted, and where you can afford to spend a little extra. This can also help you to track your savings and any big events easier. Use a template from Office.com, or similar, if you don’t want to make one from scratch.
Set aside half an hour each week – that’s the equivalent of two Facebook visits. Use this time to make any changes to your budget, to make any necessary calls and to revise any big spends coming up, such as a birthday or a car service.
Simplifying your finances will make life so much easier; look at consolidating your debts through sites like consolidated.credit so that you make one payment rather than many. This way you will also only be dealing with one creditor rather than multiple. Set up standing orders and direct debits, so that you don’t have to manually pay bills each month, but just check that they have gone out successfully.
Most people already have and use internet banking, but if you don’t – you need to get it. You can manage your accounts from your home. Almost all the information you need is available to you through the app, meaning that your half an hour could be at 11 pm on a Sunday when all the banks are closed.
Multiple accounts seem like the opposite of simple – and this is true if you have too many of them. However, if you limit them, you will find them useful. Having two current accounts, one for bills and one for personal spending – this splits your money into what you can touch and what you can’t. As for savings accounts, you can have one for emergencies or the annual bills, like the car servicing or if it breaks down. A second for fun savings, like vacations, birthdays and Christmas. And, possibly a third cash ISA where you can’t touch your savings for the majority of the time. You might use this last one for smaller amounts each month, or just as and when you can, but ISA accounts tend to come with a high-interest rate, so your money should build up nicely on its own.