When it comes to your budget, mistakes are costly. An overdraft here, a late fee there, and you can pay way more than you need to. To prevent that from happening, reduce the complexity of your finances until they're as simple as possible. Money image from Shutterstock
As personal finance site Dividend Diplomats explains, the more you have to keep track of with your money, the more likely it is that you're going to miss something. So, when you're working on your finances, err on the side of simple:
Over time, small tweaks to financial habits can build up into a bureaucratic nightmare. That's what I think happened to me and it caused an unnecessary burden. At the time of my decision, I'm sure getting that bank bonus was a great idea. I'm sure opening this new cash back credit card that is slightly different than my hotel points credit card appealed to me for some reason. There is nothing wrong with adding layers, cards, rewards programs like Swagbucks, etc. and I don't want that to be the takeaway here. But for me, it has become too much. I want simplicity and efficiency with my financial habit.
You can start by automating your finances where you can. Then, focus on reducing the number of accounts you have to actively manage. It's fine to have a separate savings account that sits there untouched, but if you have to juggle five credit cards because of their different rewards, you're introducing more points of failure.
Above all else, be aware of your cognitive load. The more you have to think about your finances every month, the more stress you're adding. If you automatically contribute to your superannuation, you probably don't think about it much, so it's a load off your mind. But dealing with five different due dates on different bills throughout the month are a huge burden that you can simplify.