Are you short for month at the end of each month? Do you have 5-10 credit cards, all maxed out to the limit? Do you forget to pay your bills on time? If you have answered, “Yes,” to any of these questions, don’t feel bad and don’t worry. I have some tips that can help you improve your financial picture: Create a Bill-Paying System

forms_paper_stack.jpgThe first thing you’ll need to do is to go out and pick up some colored hanging folders. If you don’t have a file cabinet, get a file box that you can find in any stationery store or discount department store. They’re very inexpensive. Then, make a folder for each expense. Use one color for your bank statements, another for your utility bills, and another for credit cards. Keep the system pretty simple or complexity could let procrastination) take over.

Each day when your mail arrives, separate it immediately into what you don’t need and want to throw away and your bills and other things that need attention right away. Do the things that are needed and either pay the bill right away or put them in a central place where you can retrieve them when the money is available for paying the bills. This could be the front of a desk drawer, for instance, or even a basket on top of your desk. Just be sure that nothing goes into that basket besides your bills.

Online banking is a great way to streamline the bill paying process. Bank security is top notch, so the question of you having a problem online is really out of the equation. The chances are very slim. So, what you do is you take each bill that you receive and you put the information needed into the online banking account. You don’t have to do this all at once. Wait until your next bill comes in and do it one or two at a time. That way, it seems less daunting, and remember, you only have to do it once. After all the information has been entered, paying a bill becomes as simple as clicking a button, a mouse button, that is.

When you’re finished paying your bills, be it online or off, put the paid bills with the date of payment written on the front, into one of the colored file folders. That way, when tax time comes around, all your financial records will be at your fingertips.

Don’t carry around huge wads of cash or a debit card linked to your bank account, either. If you prefer the convenience of plastic, open a separate bank account and put a monthly “allowance” into it for yourself. When the money’s gone, you’ll just have to wait until next month to get more. This should help you to budget your spending and hold back on those impulse purchases a little.

And if you want to buy something, decide whether you need it or just simply want it. If you think you need it, just walk away and take 25 hours or longer to consider the purchase. Once it’s out of your site, you may find that it’s really a want, disguising itself as a need.

Before you pay any bill, any expense for the month, you should always be paying yourself. Ten percent of your income, every time you get money or a paycheck, should go into a savings account. If you don’t have a savings account, get one and never, ever use it except for depositing. Your savings account is for huge expenses, like buying a house, repairing your car, or retirement.

Put at least one of these tips into practice and see how well it works for you. I guarantee that you’ll be back to try another.

eft1.gifElectronic Funds Transfer (EFT) offers a host of benefits to both your business and your customers. Accepting payments electronically allows your customers to avoid using credit cards by having the funds directly debited from their bank accounts. In addition to the convenience this provides your customers, electronic funds transfer also saves your company money by eliminating the high fees associated with credit card transactions and replacing them with a much lower per-transaction fee.

Electronic funds transfer also has several advantages over accepting paper checks. You’ll receive the funds much more quickly and save time and money over processing paper checks.

Electronic billing is also a great tool for recurring payments. If you charge your customers on a regular basis, electronic funds transfer deducts the funds from their accounts automatically. This will save your business the time and costs associated with sending and processing bills.

You can set your business up with easy-to-use software and services for electronic transfers. You can accept electronic payments online, by phone, or by fax. You simply need to get the customer’s bank routing number, account number, and authorization for each transaction. You then submit this information each day through the network, and the funds appear in your account within 48 hours.

Banks can provide your company with a customized package that allows you to integrate electronic payment services into your existing payment processes. In addition to accepting electronic payments from customers, electronic funds transfer also allows you to pay employees and suppliers electronically with direct deposit.

promo_cuathome.jpgHow do you stay safe Online? What are the dangers of Online Banking. Are you likely to have your cash stolen or even your identity? Find out how to stay safe when Internet Banking.

Internet banking has been around for a little over 10 years and in the last 3-5 years has become a common feature with every major bank in the world!

With Internet Banking you can access your bank account(s) using the internet from the comfort of your own home. Most banks offer almost all the features that are available when you visit the bank. You can transfer money between accounts, pay money in/out. Apply for a loan or overdraft/credit buffer, or order a cheque book or a new credit/debit card and these are just some of the features.

Many banks actually offer a much higher interest rate if you open an Internet Savings Account. This reduces their administration costs and in turn they can pass some of those savings to the customer.

But for most people, the real benefit of internet banking is that it eliminates the need to get in the car, drive to the bank, find somewhere to park, (and usually have to pay for that too) and queue for 30 minutes just to pay in a cheque or perform a simple transaction. Or, even worse have to book an appointment!

So, is Internet Banking a little too easy? Can others access your details?

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