Holiday time is a great time to declutter. Just as cupboards and wardrobes fill up with unused or out of date items, your financial affairs can become cluttered. Whether it is bank accounts, credit cards, store cards, loyalty cards, loans, investments or insurance, you can easily get to the point where you have so much going on you lose track.
There are two key principles of good financial management which allow us to declutter our finances and free up more time to enjoy life. These principles are simplicity and automation.
Simplicity comes from having the minimum number of financial arrangements in place to effectively cover your financial needs. Having too many bank accounts means you may be paying unnecessary fees and also makes managing your money more difficult. Take a look at all your credit cards and store cards. With multiple cards, your total debt can easily get out of hand. Investments should also be reviewed. If you have small holdings that you have owned for a long time consider whether you should continue to own them. Over time it is easy to accumulate a number of different insurance policies which may no longer suit your requirements. Review these with your insurance broker.
Automate your banking by setting up regular payments into your savings account and paying your bills by automatic payment or direct debit. Set up your online banking so you can easily see the balances of all your accounts and arrange to have your bank statements sent to you electronically to reduce your paperwork.
Finally, declutter your paperwork. Put all your important documents together in a safe place and throw out any unnecessary paperwork. Record important details such as policy numbers or account numbers in case your documents are lost and make sure this information is held securely.