41 Ways to Simplify Your Finances

by RJ

in Money Management


“I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.” – Albert Einstein

The day I choose to simplify my finances was a good great day.

I used to have multiple bank accounts, multiple investment accounts, and random due dates on my bills.

Today, I have put together a system to automate my finances as much as possible. This allows me to spend about an hour once a month reviewing my finances, updating the budget, and calculating my net worth.

Here are the tactics I use, that you can try to simplify your finances.


  1. Go paperless.
  2. Use only one bank.
  3. Direct deposit your paychecks into your checking account.
  4. Don’t write or accept checks.
  5. Choose a bank with free bill pay.
  6. Close any old bank accounts.


  1. Go paperless.
  2. Eliminate as many monthly subscriptions as possible.
  3. Combine phone, Internet, and cable with one company if cost effective.
  4. If possible, each bill should be charged to your credit card on the due date. If they don’t accept credit cards, automatically deduct from checking account.
  5. If possible, change the due dates of each bill to one date.
  6. Ask for a discount if you pay in advance. I did this in college with my rent. Paid 6 months at a time and saved $25 a month.
  7. Have a system for choosing passwords. For example, your password could be the first two letters of the URL, followed by your birthday, plus two random symbols. Therefore, my password to GenYwealth could be GE1105@!. Change this once every few months.


  1. Use Mint.
  2. Reduce your categories.
  3. Use credit or debit when possible. Therefore, your online budgeting software automatically catches the transaction.
  4. Have a system for entering in your cash transactions into your computer. I enter them into a notepad in my phone and empty it once a month.

Credit Cards

  1. Go paperless.
  2. Use only one credit card.
  3. Change payment due date to 1st of the month.
  4. Link to your bank account.


  1. Build up a 3-6 month emergency fund so you won’t have to go into debt.
  2. Sell stuff on eBay to pay off your debt.
  3. Take a no debt pledge.


  1. Prioritize your goals.
  2. Eliminate any goal that doesn’t inspire you.
  3. Pay your goals first.


  1. Go paperless.
  2. Put your auto and home insurance with one company.


  1. Go paperless.
  2. Invest in a 401K or other employer-sponsored plan.
  3. Select a target retirement fund for your 401K and IRA.
  4. Use only one brokerage or investment company.
  5. If you have to rebalance, mark it in your calendar every year.
  6. Rollover any old 401K’s to your IRA.
  7. Dollar cost average into your IRA.


  1. Schedule a time once a month to review finances.
  2. Combine your finances.


  1. Challenge yourself to see how many days you can go without spending. (utilities don’t count)


  1. Designate a specific folder for each tax year.
  2. Scan your tax information and store it on an external hard drive or CD.

What are other ways you can simplify your finances?

Related Posts on Gen Y Wealth


Bill WinterbergNo Gravatar December 9, 2009 at 11:18 am

I use one primary credit card (that pays cash back & I pay the balance in full each month), but I always maintain a second card as a precaution.

If the primary credit card is lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised, I need a backup card that I can begin to use immediately.

Without the backup card, my life would be very difficult as I would scramble to arrange alternate payment for all the electronic bill paying scheduled for the primary card.

Bill @ FPPad.com

RJNo Gravatar December 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

Bill – Thanks for reminding me. With my checking I also carry a debit card, even though I never use it and it is always separate from my credit card.

My debit card acts as my backup.

Thanks for the comment.

Adam ZuercherNo Gravatar December 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Great list!

I love your idea on how to create a system for passwords.

Mint is also a great budgeting tool. I love how they send me a weekly snapshot of my finances. You can also receive email alerts from Mint to let you know if you’ve went over budget on any category.

CraigNo Gravatar December 10, 2009 at 9:26 am

Paperless is the way to go. I also do more online banking and have set up automatic payments and transfers to help simplify everything. I like things to be very hassle free.

Sheryl GarrettNo Gravatar December 10, 2009 at 11:46 am

I love the list. Very well thought out.

One suggestion on the password issue, try RoboForm. I can’t imagine life online without it.


JamesNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 9:03 am

Some great tips here I would also add to consolidate your savings accounts so you do not have bit everywhere! A larger balance may also mean you can command a better rate.

debt settlement listsNo Gravatar February 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Blog looks great and reads even better! You share some great opinions and insight here. Always looking for motivating blogs to keep mine going!

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