New York - There are several ways to simplify your finances and make your bill paying more efficient. Consider the following:
- Establish electronic deposits for your paycheck and electronic payments for bills and investments (i.e., automatic monthly deposits for mutual funds.)
- Maintain your investments at one brokerage firm. When selecting the firm, consider whether or not you want to have access to executing transactions via the phone, mail, online and in person.
- Use just one checking, money-market, brokerage account and credit card. Be careful thought, you should consider having at least two accounts just in case you lose your ATM or credit card and are unable to gain access to the use of one.
- If you pay your bills by manual checks, consider prepaying small recurring bills (i.e., cable or electric) for six-month period. Although you do lose the opportunity to earn interest, you do avoid writing several checks each month and you will save on postage. Your utility company should continue to send you regular monthly payments.
- Avoid constant trading of stocks and mutual funds. Not only is it riskier but it creates paperwork at tax time.
- Keep track of your financial goals and don’t make decisions without thinking of whether they meet your goals
- Take an inventory of your high-priced household possessions using a camera or camcorder. You should keep this inventory in a safety-deposit box or at a relative’s house. This will come in useful should you need to provide documentation for an insurance company.
Also, you should never purchase an investment that you do not understand.
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