Simplify Your Finances: Banking

Looking to simplify your life so you have more time to do what you love?

Start with your banking habits.

Use direct deposit for all your income. There is no need to make a trip to the bank and wait in line simply to deposit your paycheck, pension, or Social Security benefits. With direct deposit, all of your income can automatically be deposited into your savings, checking, and investment accounts without any effort on your part. 

Plus, direct deposit eliminates the risk of lost or stolen checks.

Deposit checks with your mobile device. In the time it may take you to find your car keys, you can generally deposit a paper check in your bank account using your mobile device – and avoid the need to drive to the bank!

Depositing a check can be as easy as opening the mobile banking app on your smartphone or tablet, taking a picture of the front and back of the check, choosing the account, entering the deposit amount, and touching Make Deposit.

Transfer money electronically. With online or mobile banking, you can easily move money from one account or financial institution to another using your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Set up email or text alerts. Alerts help you stay on top of what’s going on in your financial accounts by notifying you when certain events happen, such as when your balance drops below a certain amount, deposits or credits are posted, or other changes are made to your account.

Pay your bills online or using your mobile device. Both ways are generally faster and easier than writing and mailing checks.

Many financial institutions offer online and mobile bill paying services that enable you to simply choose who to pay and then enter the amount and the date you want the bill paid. The financial institution takes it from there, either sending an electronic payment or a paper check to the biller.

Many billers also offer online and mobile bill paying options where you can authorize payment from your bank account or credit card.

Pay your bills at set times each month. Arrange new due dates with your billers that fall closer together so that you only have to pay bills once or twice a month. Then set up a reminder on your computer or mobile device that alerts you when it’s time to pay the bills.

Limit your number of credit cards. Each credit card in your wallet equates to twelve statements per year. Have five credit cards? That is sixty statements per year that need to be reviewed.

You can reduce the time you spend reviewing statements – and the chance that you’ll miss one or two of them – by limiting the number of credit cards that you use. Be sure to consider, however, that closing a credit card account may have a short-term negative impact on your credit score.

Use software or apps to track your spending. Knowing where your money goes can help you identify areas where you can rein in spending. While you can simply jot down all your expenditures, using a personal financial software program or app, such as Mint or Quicken, that pulls all the transactions from your financial accounts (credit card, checking, etc.) and categorizes those transactions is generally the easier way to go.

BankingStill confused? Copper Leaf Financials’ team of CPAs and experienced financial planners have worked with clients for more than 15 years to help them achieve their short and long-term financial objectives – mindful of the need to adjust strategies as life circumstances evolve.
For more information call 802-878-2731.