A minimalistic approach to personal finance is all about stripping down and removing clutter. Keep reading for five tips to simplifying your personal finances.
SELL OR DONATE WHAT YOU DONT USE
This exercise has two main benefits: A) you literally exchange your clutter for money. B) seeing how much clutter you have and the effort it takes to get rid of it does something to your mindset. You will likely think twice before buying more stuff in the future.
PRACTICE INTENTIONAL SPENDING
This will be easier after completing step one. You will now have a better idea of what you don't need and what you actually need and value. Personally, I value my space so much that I rarely even buy books, I'd much rather borrow it at the library.
A helpful tool in intentional spending is the 24-hour rule. If you see something you want to buy, walk away. If you still want it 24 hours later, go back and get it.
Keep in mind: Retail is not therapy, and holiday souvenirs are always a waste of money.
CONSOLIDATE SAVINGS AND PENSION
If you have had different employers over the years, chances are, you have different pension pots. Do you know how many you have, and where they sit? Take a Sunday to do some detective work and track down all your pension pots and move to the best provider. Enjoy knowing how much your pension is worth, and also how much easier it will be to check in with it if you would ever need to!
The same goes for your savings. Do you have little bits of money sitting around in different accounts? Get them all listed in a spreadsheet, include interest rate and conditions, and select the best savings product. I highly recommend doing a quick search to find out if others on the market are offering even better interest. Move your savings to the best option and enjoy having your money working harder for you. Bonus tip: Assess once or twice a year to see if your product still offers the best savings rate.
DITCH YOUR CREDIT CARD
Unless you have proven history in paying it off every month and thus enjoy rewards, a credit card adds to your financial mess. By using a debit card, you have more control over your spending, and you can easily see how much money you have left. It saves you the effort of paying an extra bill every month as well as the risk of being charged crazy interest rates should you forget or not be able to pay one month. Using a debit card also comes with a wellness benefit of paying for things upfront rather than credit.
AUTOMATE SAVINGS, INVESTMENTS AND BILLS
This is a transforming step that magically reduces the work for you. This can be sat up online and will even reduce the friction of doing this manually and seeing the money leaving your account. The automation should coincide with your payday so you won't even notice it.