Friday, June 29, 2012

Five Tips for Managing Finances

In the wake of the Great Recession, personal responsibility is essential for the modern investor. Below are a few tips that can help the average person save and invest like a professional.

One - Use online finance tools to help automate some of the procedures.

Certain online tools such as will help you track spending and will automate a great many of the financial processes that you would ordinarily have to spend a great deal of time on. Invest in the advancements in technology and you will soon find yourself able to free up more time to make more money for yourself with a side job or by monetizing one of your hobbies. You can even sync most of these tools with whatever payroll services your employer uses.

Two - Autopay as many bills as you possibly can.

Many of the bills that have to be paid every month are simply taking up time in your schedule. If you automate the paying of these bills through one of the many resources that are available for this purpose, you will save yourself a great deal of time and hassle.

Auto paying your bills will also get you in the habit of putting aside enough money each month so that you do not have to ever worry about a late payment. This habit will certainly spill over into longer-term liabilities such as taxes and mortgages as well.

Three - Consider your savings plan a bill.

If you have not yet heard or heeded the expression "pay yourself first," make sure that you begin doing that as soon as possible. You should consider your savings account a bill in the same way that your gas and light utilities are bills.

Financial advisors recommend that you pay yourself first before anything – before taxes, before paying bills, and especially before any sort of extraneous purchases that you may make with the extra money in your paycheck.

Four - Do your taxes all year.

If you keep up with your receipts all year, you will not have to take the extraordinary amount of time that it takes to organize them at the end of the tax year. This will save you a great deal of needless headache and time, making your entire financial year more efficient.

If you organize your tax receipts throughout the year, you will also be able to perform a back of the napkin calculation before you take your tax papers into a professional accountant. This will help you figure out some of your own deductions so that you can expedite the process with your accounting professional.

Five - Monitor your impulse purchases.

You could do without most of the things that you buy on impulse. However, if you were to add up all of the money that you could save by simply redirecting those few cents per purchase towards a savings account or some sort of investment, you would soon find yourself way ahead of the curve when it comes to finances in general.

Make sure that you keep up with the minutiae of your budget to the point where you cannot even make an impulse buy without double checking with yourself first. Eventually, those quarters and nickels will add up to a substantial amount that you can put toward any number of savings or investment programs.

Haliegh Adams is a professional writer, specializing in finance, business, HR, and payroll services. She enjoys hiking, biking and spending time with her family.

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