Automate the boring things
Set up direct debits so your bills are paid on time without having to remember all the due dates.
And if your credit card is weighing you down, set up a regular payment and pay the full amount each month if you can to avoid more interest. Or at least pay the minimum monthly amount before the due date rolls around. You’ll have peace of mind that you’re avoiding any late payment fees and will enjoy seeing the amount you owe consistently reduce.
Choose online communications
Update your preferences to receive email instead of mail. You’ll get your communications faster, help the environment and possibly your hip pocket—it’s common to charge for paper communications these days. And it’s a good idea to make sure your details are up to date, so your providers don’t lose track of you.
Manage your money on the move
These days most financial providers have ways to help you manage your finances on the move. This could include things like helping you create a budget or sending you alerts when bills are due, giving you access to your accounts and transactions. It’s quick and easy, simply download their apps.
Get a big picture view of your wealth
Most of us have accounts and services with multiple providers so it’s hard to know at any point in time your overall financial position.
Take advantage of online aggregator services that allow you to see all your accounts and transactions in the one secure place, no matter which institution they are with. There are many different apps and tools that can help you with this.
Create a budget, track your spend
There are apps and online tools to help you set a budget so you can stay on track to reach a goal, and track your spending so you can see where your money goes. Some can help you limit your spend according to how much you’ve budgeted for different things.
You can often access these services in aggregator tools as mentioned above.
Track your investments
If, like many Australians, you have money invested in shares, you can track their value online, either with the ASX or an online trading site. You can set up watch-lists for your preferred shares. There are also investing apps that round up your spare change and invests it for you in a managed fund.
Organise your money into categories
Try putting your money into three categories – money to cover your bills and expenses, money to add to your savings and then whatever you have left over is your spending money.
Get your virtual office sorted
It’s a great idea to set up a good online filing system, and make sure you back it up to a hard drive or on the cloud. And add reminders and alerts on emails you need to act on. There are lots of virtual home office filing ideas online.
Keep a record
Search your app store for apps that can scan and record your receipts. That way you don’t need to keep hard copies – these can often fade anyway and you’ll save on space.
Technology is always getting better with new ideas and apps launching all the time. So keep your eyes peeled. And go for the technology from financial institutions you know and trust, so you’ll know it’s secure.