Creating saving habits and auto-investing habits is the easiest way to become financially independent. The first step is getting control of your expenses and start developing good spending habits. Here are a few ideas to help you create good financial habits.
_____ Keep Your Bills in ONE PLACE. Create a bill drawer (or folder) and put all your outstanding bills and statements inside. That way you’ll never misplace your bill. And before you put a bill in the drawer, review it to check for mistakes. Companies do make mistakes — and you shouldn’t pay more than you should. Plus, reviewing each bill as it comes in will help you stay on top of your financial situation. Don’t be a financial ostrich: Don’t hide from your bills. Know what you owe!
_____ After You Pay a Bill, File the Statement. Don’t let your bill drawer get junked up with paper. Only keep unpaid bills in your bill drawer. You can get a simple hanging file box at your local office supply store. Once you pay your bills, drop them into the correct file and you’re done.
_____ Pay Bills the Day the Money Arrives. Avoid being late — and avoid late fees. Paying late fees is like giving away money… and it adds up fast. Can you really afford to pay $25 extra a month in credit card late fees? (That’s $300 a year, by the way.) Don’t wait to pay your bills.
If your bills have arrived — and you have the money to pay them, pay them then. Even if you only have 1 bill. Getting it into the mail gets it off your mind — and eliminates any chance of a late fee. Want to master your money like a millionaire, check out this post — ten things you can do today.
_____ Set Up Direct Deposit & Online Bill Pay. If money is tight, you’re living paycheck to paycheck, and you need to immediately pay certain bills once your paycheck comes in, the time it takes to deposit your check and for regular mail to deliver the payment could make you late.
If you set up direct deposit your money will be available as soon as you’re paid, and your payments can arrive in minutes rather than hours. Talk to your employer about setting up direct deposit, and talk to your bank about online bill pay. It’s easy, saves time, and even saves postage! (If you’re worried about online bill payments, they’re incredibly safe and secure…