Just this week, I got an update from a fund I invest in. As a part of their usual material, there was a letter outlining current trends and events on the minds of investors. The manager was reminding everyone to focus on the long term instead of stressing out over every stock market headline that comes up.
The truth is, it’s easy to sometimes feel stressed out and overwhelmed about finances. Am I saving enough? Am I investing correctly? If you watch every newscast, read all the articles, or listen to all the finance podcasts, you can easily get caught up in all the noise. However, here are five ways you can set your finances up for success without having to agonize over every single penny.
Cut Off the Noise
One of the best ways you can free up your time, money, and keep your sanity is to ignore as much of the useless information out there. I know, it’s difficult when we’re all connected, but it can be done. You can start with your inbox by unsubscribing to newsletters, unless they consistently offer real value. Overwhelmed with how many things you’re subscribed to? Try a service like Unroll.me.
Keep Your Budget Simple
If you want to get out of debt, save up money to start a business, or build wealth for retirement, you will likely need to budget. Worried it’ll be complicated? Try an easy budget follow one, like the 50/20/30 budget. It’s a straightforward three bucket plan that can move you in the right direction.
Half your money (50%) goes towards essential expenses like rent/mortgage, food, and necessary utilities. You set aside 20% of your net income for savings, making sure you have enough cushion for emergencies first, and if you have debt, go ahead and attack it. Finally, the last 30% is for personal expenses, including bills like your cell phone, entertainment, clothing, and fun money. You can also use Mint to track your progress and help you stay on your budget!
Automate the Important (But Tedious!) Stuff
As a mom, wife, and business owner, I completely understand how some things can slip your mind. You don’t want your finances to suffer, so take some time this weekend and automate the essentials, like paying your bills, transferring money into savings, and contributing towards retirement. Most banks and credit unions offer free bill pay and transfer, so use them. And if yours makes you pay? Consider moving your money! You don’t need that stress.
Keep It Simple with Retirement
Many times 401(k)s have dozens of options. If you’re looking for an efficient and effective way to invest, look at indexed funds. They’re a way for you to build a low cost and diversified portfolio. And check to see if your retirement fund offers advice from an expert – they often do!
Money can be a powerful tool to help you or it can be a huge source of stress. Keep a balanced view and see if how you’re currently spending reflects what you value most in life. See if you can simplify your life to reduce and eliminate needless spending, and you’ll have more time and money for the people and projects that matter to you!
Need to file your taxes? If you still do, TurboTax will ask you simple questions and help you get the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for, based on your answers. Also, a refund might just be your first step to financially de-stress!