As a first step, though, people need to know how much money they are taking home, says Bird. Decide when to pay which bills, based on the timing of payroll deposits, and use the bank’s automatic bill-payment system for fixed expenses, timing the payments so they arrive on time, she suggests. This may require asking the companies owed for a different due date.
“Using this method will reduce the time needed to manage your monthly finances and will help you avoid late fees and bounced check fees,” says Bird, who also suggests checking to see if utilities have plans that average annual usage and set fixed monthly expenses.
Among other tips, Bird recommends setting up the bank account to alert you when your balance falls to a certain point of your choosing, perhaps $50 or $100.
“When your account falls to this balance you know that you have to seriously consider each financial transaction, it might mean ‘no more eating out’ this month. The important thing is to decide what will help you to live within your income and to tailor the alert accordingly,” she says.
Bird also suggests setting up an automatic transfer from checking to savings accounts, starting with an affordable amount and increasing it over time.
While these tactics can help, Bird advocates budgeting.Page 3 of 5 | Prev Page | Next Page