Welcome to 2022, a whole new year filled with new opportunities, new possibilities, and new ways to set yourself up for financial success. Now is the moment to let go of last year’s mistakes and wipe the scorecard clean. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sweep your entire financial house, but here are a few ideas to get you started on tidying it up a bit to give yourself a cleaner financial journey.
Automate and Streamline Financial Activities
Make it a point this year to streamline and automate more tasks. This will make paying your bills a breeze. Not only does this free up your time, but you’ll save yourself the headache of sitting down to pay the bills every month. Centralize payments to be paid directly from your bank rather than each individual vendor. Sign up with your bank for ebills to eliminate bills getting lost in the mail. You’ll also want to take advantage of your bank’s mobile bank deposit through their banking app. By paying your bills through your bank account directly, you’ll be able to reduce the number of other payment apps you have, thus safeguarding your information. Also take the time to consolidate your bank and credit card relationships. All too often, we end up with several accounts at different brands; now’s the time to whittle them down and eliminate extra or inactive cards. Too many accounts means too many headaches trying to sort fees and purchases. Less bills means less stress.
File Your Taxes on Time
The best way to prepare taxes for 2021 is to begin by setting aside a place to gather last year’s documents before they start arriving. That way, you’ll have them available all in one place when you’re ready to file. Set an appointment with your tax preparer and be sure to keep your appointment. Once you make your appointment, motivate yourself by making your appointment date be your deadline to stay on track rather than putting in an all-nighter just to make the appointment. You’ll want to also use a tax planner provided by your CPA as a roadmap to the tax forms you’ll need. This tax planner is based on your prior years’ tax returns. As they arrive, mark them off the planner and bring all the documents you have set aside for the year to your tax appointment. You’ll also want to adjust your tax withholdings with your employer for 2022, and submit a new W-4 as well.
Raise Your Credit Score and Reduce Debt
Now is the perfect time to check your FICO credit score or use a free service from your credit card issuer such as American Express MyCreditGuide, Chase Credit Journey or Wells Fargo’s FICO Score service. You’ll want to know your baseline score before you get started. If the payment due dates for your credit cards don’t line up with your payroll date, request that your credit card issuer changes the payment date so that none are late and all are paid on time.
You’ll want to make an effort to boost your liquid savings too. The best way to do so is to set up weekly automated payments into your savings account to cover infrequent, large, or annual bills or estimated tax payments. Make your savings account easy to contribute to but more challenging, such as a two-day delay to transfer funds. That way, you’ll be less tempted to pull out money if you don’t need to.
Get Expert Support
If these things seem overwhelming or impossible, consider hiring a daily money manager and outsourcing these tasks. Not only will you free yourself from the time commitment on yourself, but you’ll also have relief from many financial stressors and have fewer arguments with a partner or loved ones about money.
If you need even more ways to manage your time or your space, consider hiring an organizing or productivity consultant to help you in these other areas. Find a local expert in your area through the National Association of Professional Organizers at napo.net.
By following these simple guidelines, you’ll set yourself up for success in 2022. Your financial house will thank you, and you’ll have much less clutter than in 2021.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers can help you streamline and manage your financial tasks on your behalf. Schedule a consultation today and give yourself the freedom to joyfully and abundantly live life.