Step One: Set up bill pay. Gone are the days when you write checks to pay your bills. This is the year that your finances finally do the work for you.
By setting up bill pay through your checking account, your regular monthly bills like utilities, rent or mortgage, and debt payments will be paid on time. You won’t have to worry about late fees or a late record on your credit report.
The best part is that now you free up time in your schedule to do more meaningful things in your life than paying bills. Now doesn’t that lead to less stress?
Step Two: Save one month’s expenses in your savings account. Life happens, and when it does, it’s less stressful to deal with if you have an emergency fund.
Fund your savings account with one month’s worth of expenses. Set up the savings account as an overdraft account to your checking account. Not only will this ensure that you will have enough funds for your automatic bill payments, but you will not be charged any overdraft fees.
With an emergency fund, you can afford to get that cracked screen on your phone fixed or get new tires for your car without having to get into debt.
Step Three: Invest in your employer’s retirement plan to capture the match.
Once you have one month’s reserves set aside, it’s time to participate in your employer’s retirement plan to capture any match offered.
Capturing your employer’s match is a no-brainer since it is “free money” that you receive when you contribute to a retirement plan. Make sure you contribute enough to be able to capture all of the match. For example, your employer may match the first 3% of your contributions dollar for dollar. If you only contribute 2% of your salary to the plan, you may only get a 2% match.
By taking these steps, you will accomplish three key things:
Your bills will be paid on time.
Your finances will be protected from unexpected future expenses.
You will start saving for your future and take advantage of “free money”.
By putting these systems in place, your finances are now working for you!