There are several finance tips for the lazy person. The word "lazy" in this case refers to those who want an effortless way to manage their cash flow and expenses.If you don't know much about personal finance, or if you feel it's too difficult to manage money, this article is for you. Whether you have an interest in money topics or not, understanding how to budget, save and manage your money contributes to better finances. Here are seven personal finance tips for the lazy person.
1. Enroll in Direct Deposit
This may not be offered through your employer, but if it is, enrolling in direct deposit is one of the best finance tips for the lazy. Direct deposit eliminates paper checks. Therefore, you don't have to wait for your employer to issue checks on payday, and you don't have to run to the bank to deposit your money. Funds are typically available in your bank account at midnight on your payday.
2. Automate Your Bills
If you absolutely hate to pay bills, putting your expenses on autopilot takes the hassle out of managing your personal finances. This is a simple process that starts with signing up for online banking through your financial institution. Most banks offer free bill pay. Basically, you determine the days to pay your creditors, and how much to pay. As these dates roll around, money in your account is automatically drafted and forwarded to your creditors or utility companies. You don't have to write a check, or worry about buying stamps.
3. Automate Your Savings
Paying bills is important, but it's equally important to build a nest egg and save for a rainy day. And fortunately, there are ways to put your savings on autopilot. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account on certain days of the month. This way, you can grow a larger cash reserve.
4. Get a Whole Life Policy
You probably know the importance of life insurance. And to save money on a policy, you might consider a term life policy. But term policies expire after 10, 20 or 30 years. After your policy expires, you'll have to shop around for a new policy. Unfortunately, renewing the policy typically involves a higher premium. If you want to purchase insurance once, and not think about it again, get a whole life policy, also called a permanent policy.
5. Join Your Employer's 401(k) Plan
When preparing for retirement, you can open an individual retirement account. But with these accounts, you have to deposit funds into the account. However, if you start a 401(k) through your employer, contributions are automatically taken from your pay. You don't have to lift a finger.
6. Use the Jar/envelope System for Budgeting
To avoid overspending, determine how much you need for groceries, gasoline and entertainment. After getting your paycheck, deposit cash into either envelopes or jars for each category, and only spend what you have in these envelopes. This eliminates multiple trips to the ATM and multiple debit card transactions.
7. Use Cash
If you use your debit card or a credit card for the majority of purchases, you'll have to track your spending either by keeping receipts or checking your online statements regularly. This can be a hassle. A simple approach, however, is using cash for purchases. Only bring the cash you need when shopping.
Personal finance might not be the most exciting topic to think about, but it's important if you want to maintain control over your money and make smarter financial decisions. What other tips can you offer?