New Year’s resolutions can usually be divided into several basic categories: organization (covered on Monday), exercise/weight loss (check out posts about this topic next week), and finances.
While I can’t help you with your financial resolutions – although my guess is that advising you to save more and spend less would probably be helpful – I can help you face your finances with a greener state of mind.
Many of these tips are common, no-brainer solutions. They’re worth mentioning, though.
Some people may still prefer the old-fashioned way of paying bills – getting a bill in the mail, writing a check, and sending a payment. This is just plain wasteful on so many levels.
First, this method wastes paper. (Plus, it creates large amounts of paper clutter that need to be filed.)
Second, this method wastes a lot of money in postage.
Third, it wastes time when you have to sort through the paperwork, write each check and fill in each invoice.
Switch to online banking. Bill paying takes just a few simple clicks. Of course, there still are annoyances like pesky passwords, but it is so efficient. And you’re helping the environment by reducing paper use – not to mention the fuel used by the postal service when delivering your payments.
Do you still keep a savings account in a brick and mortar bank or credit union? Consider switching to an electronic account like ING Direct. (I receive no commission from ING – but I recommend this institution because Prince Charming and I have had our savings here for years and have no complaints.)
For many of the same reasons as online bill paying, an online bank account saves a lot of unnecessary paperwork. Plus, the major bonus is a higher interest rate.
When tax time rolls around, file your tax returns online. It’s quick, easy, and you’ll get faster returns. Again, this method saves a lot of unnecessary paperwork.
What kind of green financial advice do you have? What works for you and your family?
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