They say that time is the great equalizer. We all have the same number of hours in a day, whether we are rich or poor, young or old, male or female. While as a child it may seem as if your time is unlimited, once you reach adulthood you become keenly aware of the limitations on your time.
Because our time is limited, it is important to be strategic about how we use our time. What matters most to you? That’s how you should be spending your time. For most people, managing their finances is not at the top of their list. Whether you’re busy and looking to save time or have plenty of it and simply don’t want to spend it on managing your finances, here are three things you can do to simplify your financial life and redeem your time.
Utilize a Password Manager
How do you remember the passwords for your various online accounts? When you go in to check your bank account, do you have to dig around for the notebook that your passwords are written in or click on “Forgot Password” and go through the entire process of resetting it? Trying to keep your passwords in order can be a very time-consuming and mentally draining process, especially for financial accounts that require regular password changes.
There is a better way: using an online password manager. At Guide Financial Planning, our team uses LastPass but there are a number of different options available, many of them free. An online password manager is great because you only have to remember one password. The rest of your passwords are stored in the system and easy to reference. You can also set it up so that the usernames and passwords autofill when you go to specific web pages, saving you even more time. Another feature that we especially like here at the firm is that you can share your account access with another person through the password manager without them actually being able to see your password.
If you’ve ever had to click on “Forgot Password,” then open up a new browser tab right now and get yourself a password manager. You’ll wish you had done it sooner.
Have Unique Savings Accounts
Most people have one checking account and one savings account. Your checking is what you use for day-to-day expenses and your savings is where you put money for your next car or vacation, or just whatever is left at the end of the month. The problem with that is that it’s not always clear what the money in your savings account is for. Have you ever gone on vacation and splurged because you knew you had the money in your account, only to come home and remember that half of that money was supposed to be for buying new tires for your car? Oops.
We usually recommend that our clients set up separate savings accounts for each of their financial goals. While this may sound more like complicating your finances than simplifying them, it isn’t. At banks like Ally Bank, you can set up multiple savings accounts all under the same login. You can label them Emergency Fund, Vacation, Car Maintenance, Christmas, etc. Then, you always know how much you have set aside for a particular purpose and don’t run the risk of spending your tire money on airline tickets.
Automate Your Savings
Once you have your separate savings accounts set up, it’s time to automate your savings. If money just sits in your checking account waiting for you to transfer it to savings, it will likely get spent. And spending it all won’t get you any closer to your savings goals.
At banks like Ally, you can set things up so that a certain amount of money is automatically transferred from checking to savings on a monthly basis. It’s nice because then you don’t have to remember to make transfers. The second benefit is that with the money automatically removed from your checking account, you will not spend it on things outside of your budget. This is a nice set-it-and-forget-it feature that allows you to reach your savings goals without even thinking about them.
How We Can Help
Your time is a finite resource, a precious gift from God. You should be using it to live out his calling and purpose for your life, not stressing over the details of managing your financial life. These three suggestions will help you simplify your finances and redeem some of your time.
If you want to take it a step further, you can hire a professional to deal with the details of your financial life so that you can redeem even more of your time. That’s what we do at Guide Financial Planning, we use our expertise to help our clients manage their financial lives so that they have more time to do what matters most to them. Our clients don’t worry about keeping their investments in balance or figuring out how new tax laws affect them because they know that we are doing that for them. To learn more about what we do or how you can become a client, schedule a free introductory phone call today.
About Guide Financial Planning
Guide Financial Planning is led by founder Ben Wacek, who is a Christian fee-only Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Kingdom Advisor®. He has a passion to help people of all income levels make wise financial decisions and steward their resources from an eternal perspective using Biblical principles. Based in Minneapolis, MN, he works with clients both locally and virtually throughout the country and abroad. You can follow the links to learn more about Guide Financial Planning and our team and the services we offer.