As I design my life with purpose, I discover that minimizing time spent on chores is a necessity to me, and that includes financial obligations. My family usually goes on about two big vacations a year. This up coming March we are headed to Israel with our church (Emmanuel Community Church) to go on a holy tour, and see all the historical sights. Many of those vacations, we try to disconnect and go without having a cell phone. I don’t really want to spend my time there checking email or much less looking at my financial accounts. I’m always looking at ways to spend less time dealing with my finances. I have compiled a list down below of my 4 main ways to spend less time on your finances.
# 1 Spend Less
One of the easiest ways to spend less time on financial chores is to stop spending on wants. Now there is a balance to this of course. Just think of all the time you spend researching, maintaining, cleaning etc…Once you master how to budget, then and only then can you not watch your checking account like a hawk.
# 2 Keep More In Cash
Another way to spend less time thinking about money and checking account balances is to simply keep more cash around.
You want to make sure you find the right mix, there is a cost to this versus maximizing the return of every dollar. If you are keeping 20K in your checking account and you have a $10,000 purchase you don’t even have to check your account. There’s no moving money between checking and savings multiple times a month. Utilizing only one bank is a big plus. You only get so much bandwidth in your life. What do you want to spend it doing?
# 3 Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
This ties into #1 Spend less, but what I mean is, automate your moves on a monthly basis. Automate your 401k, automate any debt payments like car payments and credit cards. Pretty much everything can be automated outside of those pesky utility companies that only want checks/cash. Simplifying your investments also helps.
Another trick I use is to use only two credit cards. I use one for daily purchases. Feel free to pick the card that gives you the rewards that you want. I use the second card for reoccurring monthly expenses. That way if my daily credit card gets hacked, I do not have to spend time resetting up all my other accounts. Never use your debit card, the fraud protection is not the same as the protections you get from your credit cards.
# 4 Hire an Advisor and Quit Watching Your Investments
I’ll be honest. Watching the daily movements of the stock market can be very boring. Fidelity came out with a study that shows the more you actually looked at your portfolio, the worst your returns were. Get your accounts setup with a diversified portfolio and forget about it.
Hiring an advisor (albeit biased) can be a huge time saver, especially if you do not have the time to do the research of your specific circumstances. You will want to make sure your advisor specializes in your field. You will also want to make sure he is bound by a fiduciary standard of care. This means he is legally bound to act in your best interest. Some advisors don’t play by the same rules and can actually cause a lot of harm.