Easy Reminders that Save You Money
By Shannon M. Medisky
Funny how often the simplest explanation is usually correct. As it would turn out, Ockham’s razor also holds true when it comes to finances too. There are literally countless simple and easy ways to help reminder yourself of various things that not only free up your thoughts, but save you money too. And the more of these you employ in your savings arsenal, the more money you’ll save. Here’s just a few ideas to help get you started:
Specifically choose to use things that have personal meaning or trigger specific thoughts daily. It might seem odd, but I love to use pens that were intentionally created as physician freebies, the pens that advertise the various different names of new prescription medications. It doesn’t hurt that they’re free, but it also helps remind while I’m working that too much stress isn’t good for my health. As I glance down at my work while using these pens, I’m reminding immediately to keep things in perspective, don’t overdo it and keep my stress level as low as possible otherwise I may just have to take some of these medications someday.
Place and use an egg or kitchen timer in the bathroom. Hey, I love a long, hot shower as much as the next guy or gal, but I certainly don’t appreciate the water and electric bills that go along with it. And just imagine if everyone in the family took such luxurious, but costly showers each day. As a quick and easy reminder, put a timer in the bathroom and encourage everyone to use it for showers. Set the timer for the chosen amount of time and hop in. When the timer goes off, wrap things up and get out. Simple, effective, better for the environment and easy on your budget too.
Utilize your bank’s auto bill pay service. Now days nearly every business out there accepts electronic payments; in fact, most encourage you to sign up for their auto pay service. But keep things simple and easy, and opt to utilize your own bank’s bill pay service instead. You’ll have far less to remember because you’ll only have one login (at your bank’s website) rather than multiple logins (one for each and every specific bill pay account). You’ll quickly and easily be able to schedule exactly when your payments go out and completely avoid having to pay any postage. This not only prevents late or missed payments, but it can enable you to hang on to your money as long as possible (allowing you to collect interest on it). Most banks also usually employ an email reminder service in conjunction with auto bill pay. This gives you the heads-up that your monthly bill is being paid on your behalf and that you should deduct it from your check register.
Keep track of time quickly, easily and at-a-glance. Whether you’re single, part of a couple or a member of a family, it seems all of us are busy and wishing there were more time in the day. Keep track of time, important appointments and things that must get done by using a large dry erase calendar board (or even just a large, inexpensive paper calendar). Use small post-it notes that can be moved around from day-to-day and month-to-month and consider color coding them for simple at-a-glance reminders. (Personally, I use yellow for everyday stuff such as planned trips to the grocery store, pink for scheduled appointments such as the doctor or dentist, blue for work-related events and orange for kid-related stuff.) The better we manage the time within our day-to-day lives, the more apt we are to better manage other areas of our lives, including our finances. After all, time is money so it makes good sense to schedule and care for it accordingly too.
Photo credit: kerryj.com
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