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6 Common Chores You Actually Don’t Need To Pay Someone Else To Do

6 Common Chores You Actually Don’t Need To Pay Someone Else To Do

Too often it’s too easy to just let someone else do it…no matter what the “it” is. From lunch to changing the oil in our car to mowing the lawn, these tedious little chores seem to be worth the extra $20 or $30 spent to not have to do them.

But with the price of gas and food rising, it might be wise to start cutting back on expenditures. A great place to start is to start doing the little chores we pay others to do for us. You might find that you’re paying somewhere around $100 a week — or even more — to other people for chores you could be doing yourself. Think of the ways you could spend — or save $100. At the end of a year, that could be the cruise you’ve been dying to take!

In addition, there is something very satisfying about completing basic tasks, especially if our jobs aren’t very physical in nature. Doing chores like yard work and housecleaning get you working out a bit, without having to “work out.”

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Here are a few common chores you can do yourself:

1. Basic Auto Maintenance

From changing your own oil to changing the air filter, there are many small car chores you can do yourself. Have that neighbor you always see under his car teach you how to change your oil — or grab a Haynes manual from the local auto parts store and read how to do it yourself. You can also replace your own lights, air filter, windshield wipers, battery and brake pads. All of these things are fairly simple to do, you just need the manual specific to your car to see how it’s done. Don’t be afraid of doing these little things! You can save yourself a ton of money by performing these basic maintenance chores by not paying someone else to do them — and in the preventative maintenance that will keep your car running well.

2. Prepare Your Own Taxes

This is really simple, especially with the advent of online tax preparation software. It’s amazing, in fact, that anyone (aside from a large corporation) still pays other people to do their taxes. Programs like TurboTax, ask you simple to answer questions and you just plug in the right numbers from your W-2 or 1099. The cost is low or free depending on your income and you can even file different schedules for businesses, farms or other tax issues. Your state taxes can also be done at the same time. And with direct deposit, you receive your refund quickly — without having to pay a fee to a tax preparer.

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3. Yard Work

Doing your own yard work is one of the best ways to get in a great work out and still get your yard work done. Grab a push mower and weed whacker and have at it. Take your time. You don’t have to do it all in one day. Make a plan for tackling different jobs from mowing to weeding the flower beds. And if you’re going to be away for a couple of weeks, schedule someone to come and do the job. With some companies charging as much as $50 a lawn, it’s money in your pocket to mow it yourself.

4. Housecleaning

How much do you really need a housecleaner? I mean really. If you’re suffering from a large mess due to an illness or some other issue, it might be nice to hire someone to help you get started, but once you have things under control, it’s easy to keep up. When you’re in the bathroom in the morning, brushing your teeth, take a second to wipe down the sink. The shower can be easily scrubbed once every couple of days while you’re in it. Do all the floors at once, while you have the broom and mop bucket out. Make sure you always wipe down the sink after you do the dishes and the stove after each meal. But no one cleaned behind the piano? Well, if you can’t see it and your mother-in-law can’t see it — who cares? Get behind the piano during spring cleaning and forget about the baseboards most of the time. Most people don’t even notice — and you’re real friends know that you live in your house, you don’t just clean it.

Check out the Fly Lady, who has great tips for keeping a clean house without going crazy.

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5. Wash your own car

And don’t do it very often. Really, how dirty does your car really get? I mean really? Won’t it rain soon? If not, and you just can’t take the build up of dust on your car, then get out the hose and the sponges and let the kids go to town doing it. But really, car washing is one of those things that’s best done once in a while – save yourself the time, the water and the cash.

6. Dry cleaning

Does anyone go to the dry cleaners anymore? Well, they shouldn’t. Between handwashing and those funky packages they sell to do your own dry cleaning in your dryer, you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for someone else to do your laundry. Even better — don’t buy clothes that need to be dry cleaned.

 

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What other chores are simple to do yourself and can save you money? Let us know! Comment below.

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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