If bills, fees, due dates and rewards calculations are blurring your bottom line, it's time to simplify your finances.
1. Switch to pre-authorized payments.
Most of your regular monthly bills—like utilities, cell phone, internet, cable, and even credit cards—can be withdrawn automatically from your bank account on their due date, meaning you'll never have to stress about late payments again. For credit cards, you can choose to automatically pay the minimum amount, a set amount, or the full balance.
Of course, you'll need to make sure you have enough money in your account to cover these bill payments when they are withdrawn. This is called managing your cash flow. If you need some help, try this next tip:
2. Align your bills with your paycheques.
The easiest way to make sure you have enough money to cover your bills is to pay them right after you get paid. By doing this, you will prioritize those payments and have a better idea of how much you can spend on food, entertainment and other important stuff.
Talk to your utility, phone and cable companies to see if you can move your bill due dates. Most of them have a few payment periods to choose from, so pick one that aligns best with your pay schedule.
3. Consolidate your debt.
If you're carrying a balance on a few different credit cards or loans, you may want to consider moving that high-interest debt to a single, lower-interest location. This will make it easier to monitor your debt and track your progress, all while saving you interest charges.
A personal loan with a low interest rate or a low interest credit card are good options to explore. You can also look at transferring your balance (called a Balance Account Transfer) to your new low interest card to save even more money on interest.
If you want to consolidate, here are 6 steps to get started.
4. Switch to simple credit card rewards, like cash back.
If your credit card is in for a workout soon, and your rewards program is confusing (or non-existent), you should think about switching to a simple cash-back card.
If you follow these four financial tips, it will be easier to focus on smart savings and spending habits.