Ways to Make Money Management Easier

Ways to Make Money Management Easier

DECIDE WHO PAYS BILLS and when they will pay them.

KNOW WHEN BILLS ARE DUE. Time your fixed payments, your rent or mortgage, and your car loan payment, to match your paycheck schedule.

ASK IF YOUR UTILITY COMPANIES OFFER "LEVEL BILLING PAYMENTS" or an "average payment plan." This divides your bills into 12 equal payments. It helps with managing your money because you know how much the payments will be even when you're using a lot of heat or air conditioning.

OPEN A CHECKING ACCOUNT for paying your bills. This also gives you another way to see what you spend.

OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT for emergencies, not just to make your future goals. If something goes wrong, you'll have money to fix it while still being able to pay your regular bills. Savings can help you avoid major debt that can wind up costing you more in the long run.

CONSIDER CONSOLIDATING CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS. If you have several credit card accounts open and you owe something on each, ask if you can consolidate them by paying off the amounts due with a cash advance from the card with the lowest interest rate. Many companies offer even lower rates if you transfer the balance from another account. After the transfer, be sure to cancel the other accounts slowly over several months so you are not tempted to run up new debts. Make a goal for paying off the consolidated balance. Figure out how much you need to pay each month to meet your goal.

CONSIDER SELLING A CAR. If you have a newer car with a high car payment, ask yourself how important the car is in relation to other goals. It may make sense to sell the car, buy an economy model, and bank the difference.

CHECK THE INTEREST YOU ARE PAYING on any other loans you have, then see if your local bank or credit union will refinance those loans at a lower rate.

STICK TO THE PLAN. Once you and your family have agreed on a spending plan, you owe it to eachother to stick with it.