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Financial Life – Today!
Winter is a time when stress – especially financial stress – can ramp up. But there are simple steps people can take to feel like they’re in control of their financial lives.
The weeks leading up to spring is when many people start to feel like the walls are closing in. After months being cooped up, other sources of stress can start to cluster together and feel insurmountable. And one of the biggest sources of stress is money. But there are simple ways to organize your finances to reduce stress, and enjoy the beginning of spring.
Take the Pain out of Bill Paying
One moment that can make a person’s finances feel out of control is coming home to a pile of bills. More than that, paying bills can also be one more chore to add into your day. And it can make you less eager to take on other aspects of your financial life.
One way to address this is to make your bills paperless, by paying online. But you may also want to consider automating some or all of your bills. That way, the money for those bills comes straight out of your checking account each month, without you having to do anything after you set it up.
Look for Accounts to Combine
One reason your finances may seem overwhelming is that you have too many accounts. Maybe it’s five or six credit cards, some of which you no longer use, or it’s an old checking account from before you moved, or possibly a handful of 401(k) accounts from old jobs.
Regardless, combining accounts is a good way to make your financial picture clearer and more manageable. That may mean canceling a credit card or two, closing a checking account, or combining your savings accounts into one that pays higher interest. You may also want to roll over your old 401(k) accounts or IRAs into a single IRA account, so you can keep better track of where you stand in regard to your retirement savings goals.
Start With Easy Spending Cuts
Nothing succeeds like success, as the old saying goes. That’s why you may want to begin the hard task of budgeting with a few easy wins. Take a look at your monthly spending, and try to find recurring costs – a gym membership, a streaming subscription or another service you no longer use. Those easy cuts to your monthly expenditures will feel good, and will help put you in the drivers’ seat.
Make a Two-Step Budget
Budgeting isn’t easy, so treat it like a process. Simply put, the process consists of two steps. And you may even want to devote a separate chunk of time to each step. First, write down how much you’re spending on a monthly basis, and what you’re spending it on. Then look at what you’ve written down, and make a realistic plan about what you can actually cut, and then look at how much you can save.
Find Easy Ways to Pay Yourself
Like budgeting, saving isn’t always easy. So look for ways to make it less painful. One of the best ways to take the pain out of your savings is to automate it. Just like you can automate your monthly bills, you can also set up monthly automatic deductions that go straight into a savings account. You can even set it up so that the deduction comes out of your account on payday, so you never see the money, or feel the pain of making the payment.
Make Your Money Work Harder
Saving money is easier when you can watch your money grow. Earning interest provides regular encouragement, while moving you closer to your financial goals. That’s why a high-interest, online-only savings account like the ones offered by Barclays can be a powerful tool. Whether it’s for long-term savings, or your emergency fund, a high-yield savings account can help you feel better about the progress you’re making in your financial life.
Decluttering your financial life is a smart way to reduce stress. And a Barclays online high-yield savings account is a simple way to ensure that your money will grow effortlessly. With straightforward products, and an attentive customer service team, Barclays helps our customers simplify their finances, and take gradual, effortless steps in the direction of their goals.