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Maximized Free Time

last month, I noticed that I spent a lot of my time on tasks that could be eliminated, streamlined , or automated. So I did all three to my finances.

Eliminating Unused Accounts

I went on crusade against unused bank and credit accounts,  closing anything that I did not use frequently regardless on its impact on my credit score. I chopped down savings accounts, checking accounts, and a score of credit card accounts.

The next time that I reconciled my transactions, it went so fast that I was certain that I missed something. There wasn’t much to check. Not very many emails from financial institutions, not many statements to download. It was over before I knew it.

Streamlining Email

Like many people,  had several email accounts when I did not need to. This is a work in progress, but I’ve created email auto-forwarding rules on the old accounts to my new accounts, and i’m updating Internet accounts to use the new account. Then I turned off any notifications that I did not needs, and finally I deleted accounts that I no longer need.

My email load has shrunk drastically , freeing me for processing email that I could not act on.

Automating The Budget

Last but not least, I took a drastic step and decided to switch from YNAB to Mint. I found the best features of Mint to be the fast reliable updates, the new bill tracking feature, and their account rules that automatically categorize  transaction as they are received. It saves me a ton of time, and I like their goal tracking features more than YNAB’s as well.

I had to sacrifice the zero sum budget, but I believe the benefits were worth it. I’ve been using YNAB since 2010, and its sad to stop using the now online application. We have to make our own choices, and I’ve made mine.