The key to financial freedom is to stop thinking. Set up everything you need to, and forget it! Online banking is one of the greatest inventions ever, especially if you are a person who spends whatever they have an lives paycheque to paycheque. By following a few simple exercises you can make things very easy on yourself and end up with some extra money in your account.
I deal with Royal Bank, and I am continually mucking with things to maximize the simplicity mainly for the benefit of my laziness. First step (all in reference to Royal, but I’m sure other banks have similar products) is to setup a huge number of High Interest eSavings accounts. They are free and you have unlimited transfers to other accounts. Its also instant to transfer to other accounts. So setup a bunch. I have one normal account three high interest accounts. The 3 accounts are ‘nicknamed’:
- Savings – Its for my own personal savings until I decide where money goes. It could go to other investments or RRSP or paying down the mortgage etc…
- Property Taxes – This is an account to store money to pay my property taxes once a year, cause I might as well be making interest off the money instead of the city
- House Items Savings (TV) – This is an account to throw money at to save up for items for the house.
The next step is to setup auto deductions. If you are anything like me money flies out of my main account, but I am really good about not taking money out of the separate except for the specific purpose. So once a month I have money that gets automagically transferred to the respective account. Its like paying a bill to yourself, or the case of property taxes having it auto-deducted but making interest off of it until its really due!
Another smart option is to pay all bills with your points earning credit card. I use my PC Financial Mastercard card because I might as well get free groceries for paying my bills. But the real key is that since your bills come in at about the same time every month you setup an automatic payment to coincide with that bill. For example, my cellphone bill comes in between the 3rd and 7th every month so I have a payment setup for the 7th for around $60 which most months will cover my bill. It goes from my account to my credit card, and the cell phone bill comes off the credit card automatically. That one extra automatic payment means that I get free groceries.
Then you do the same for home phone, interweb, television, gas, hydro, etc… So its like having them automatically deducted, but you get points for them from your credit card. There is also no miscalculations or trouble figuring out how much you should have left, one the bill comes (same day every month) the money is out of your account and its a done deal.
Quick easy tricks like this leave money in your pocket or in your account making interest and make budgeting a breeze. I know that this makes saving money very easy for me.