If you’re like me, it seems like you have a lot of bills and accounts to manage each month. Not only do you have your bank accounts, but there are things like utilities, cell phone, internet and the list could go on. This can make it difficult to manage your finances and I’m always looking for ways to streamline that in order to save myself time.
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to get a better grip on your finances and manage them more effectively then these tips should help you get started on it.
Have Everything Go to One Email Address
How many email addresses do you have? If you’re like me, it’s more than one and it can be difficult to keep track of. These days many providers want to email you when your statement or bill is ready. This can make it easy to manage, but not if you have these going to different emails.
What we do is have one email address that’s devoted to receive these emails. That way there is no confusion and we’re able to manage our finances without missing a bill or statement. Of course, you can set up an auto pay feature for most providers, but that may not always be an option.
Streamline Where Possible
The problem with trying to manage your finances is that you have so many different accounts and/or bills to manage. One way to simplify your life is to use one of the various programs out there that allow you to manage everything out of one location like free tools Empower or Manilla.
The nice thing about these programs is they can collect everything for you so you only have one place to go to in order to manage your finances online. Just be careful when looking at this option that you look at what security measures they have in place so you can have peace of mind that you’re mitigating risk.
Take Action Right Away
If you’re busy like I am then it can be difficult to always stay on top of your finances. My wife and I have learned that if we don’t take care of something right away, it’s less likely to happen. So, when we get that little reminder that our bank statement is ready for download, we download it that day so we don’t forget.
The same mentality can and should be taken with your bills so you don’t miss a payment. Not only will this keep your accounts in good standing, but it’ll also help you avoid any costly fees that could result from missing a payment reminder or a fee that you might have missed in your bank account. One simple way to get around this problem is to use one of the tools available online that allow you to manage your finances. If that is an option you’re considering, look around as many of them offer this service at no charge – which isn’t too bad in my book. 🙂
How do you manage your finances online? Do you use a particular service to make it easier on yourself?
Image by 401(k)2012 / Flickr
5 thoughts on “3 Simple Ways to Manage Your Finances Online”
“Have Everything Go to One Email Address”
I think it’s a good idea to separate the email address for your financial accounts from your everyday friends-and-family-and-newsletters email, but make sure you monitor that finance address and keep an eye on your security. If you have a single email address chock full of your financial login data, that’s a ripe target for anyone trying to steal your identity. If they get access to that email address, they can then use password reset functions to gain access to all of your online banking, Paypal, and other financial accounts.
Use a reputable email provider who offers two-factor identification, pick a long, strong, varied password and set a regular schedule for changing it. It might also be worth keeping an emergency fund on a separate email address, so that if your main finance account does get compromised, you still have access to some funds while you go through the red tape of getting control of your accounts back.
Completely agreed Adam, you definitely do want to take security to heart and make the appropriate framework necessary to regularly check up on it. I would actually go a step further and not include log in information within the email, it’s too easy to get taken in my opinion.
mint mint mint every day mint. I love the other tools out there, too, but mint is where I go when I want to get a good snapshot of where i am.
Let me guess, you’re a Mint fan?! 😉
I’ve been a long time Mint user (since 2007), but I’ve found that it doesn’t work as well as it used to and I keep having problems. I’ve been thinking about Quicken, but moving 10,000 transactions isn’t practical to move my whole history. For now, I’m using Personal Capital as my snapshot place.
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