What's funny about it was to find out how similar we are in managing our finances. I'm in the IT industry myself and there is really something about analyzing a given scenario and thinking of simple ways to improve or solve something.
Here are the similarities GLBL guy and I share:
- Online Bill Pay - This is the most common way of paying bills here in NZ. I don't set up automatic payments because it costs money, like $2 each set up, and also because I know when our bills are due. I take pride in paying off our bills all the time.
- Use Excel for budgeting - I created our budget spreadsheet using MS Excel and uploaded it on Google Docs. This way my husband and I can update it anywhere. Since we have a straightforward budget strategy, using Excel or Google Docs is already adequate. I tried to switch to software-based financial tool and spent hours trying and reviewing them, but ended back to just using a simple spreadsheet. I didn't have to shell out money to get organized, hence savings.
- Debit Cards - We use a zero-fee-on-electronic-transactions EFTPOS card. It's easy to track our spending with this, and while I'm at it I also update our spreadsheet to reflect transactions as soon as they are made. I'm pretty good about doing this. I'm a maniac for organization!
- Budget meetings - J and I talk regularly about our finances. I initiate the discussion because J is not about the nitty gritty of things, and mainly because he trusts me. :)
- Don't receive paper statements - We stopped our checking accounts paper statements because that was an additional $3.50 per month. I wish we could do the same for our credit cards but I suppose that has its purpose. We recently found out that we could sign up for paperless bills for our electric bill as well. Awesome!
- De-clutter - I guess you could say that when I started having strong interest in PF, it triggered the de-cluttering much needed in our lives. It was not because we lived a disorganized life but it just got us sorted, you know? Now I have a better idea of what we'll financially be in a week, a month, a year, and that is good. No second guessing, or hoping, or wishing.