Save time on routine financial activities so you can work together on long term planning

To effectively PlanSingle you and your partner will need time to review your financial situation and work on long-term strategy. But juggling many of the short-term activities is what keeps many couples from finding the time for planning conversations.  It also leads to dividing the responsibilities where one partner handles long-term and investment decisions and the other, usually the woman, handles the day to day. In a recent study by the financial institution UBS, a majority of younger women surveyed indicated that taking care of a young family was a more urgent need than long-term planning and investing.  This is not a good way to PlanSingle., Automation and delegation can help you save time on the day to day, and create the time for both of you to manage the big picture.

Instead of dividing the responsibilities, spending less time on the short-term activities enables you to take an hour each quarter with your spouse to review family spending patterns, your portfolio, and track to your financial plan.

Here are a few ways to help you save time so that you and your spouse can focus on the big picture.

Use Pre-Authorized Bill Payment Services Most bills can be set up for automatic payments from your account.  For those monthly bills that cannot be automated online banking offers electronic bill paying. Rather than spending time writing cheques, or otherwise manually paying bills, most monthly expenses can be handled automatically and others taken care of with a few mouse clicks.

Sign up for paperless statements. Beyond saving trees, electronic statements can be received and filed more quickly than paper. Upon arriving in your inbox, they can be electronically filed in a matter of seconds.

Keep track of expenses with software like Quicken. Bank, credit card, and investment information can be downloaded directly from your financial institutions. Reconciling your checkbook can be done in a few minutes. But the most powerful function is the ability to analyze and report on household expenses, quickly and easily.

Utilize a financial advisor for financial planning and investment management. Rather than spending time researching and monitoring investments or financial planning strategies, work with a knowledgeable advisor who can do the research, create the plan, identify opportunities and strategies and make recommendations relevant to your personal circumstances.   An advisor who provides financial planning services will be able to integrate assets not directly under their care, like your pension, or work RRSP, into your plan to give you the full picture. Remember, when it comes time to meet with your advisor, both of you need to be there and participate.

Leveraging the resources of your financial institutions, inexpensive software and professional advisors, you can dramatically reduce the amount of time required to properly manage the household finances.  That way you can both be fully informed on your financial situation and participate in the long term decision-making. It’s the PlanSingle way.

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