Julia Rains at Wise Bread recently posted “101 Useful Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes or Less,” featuring a long list of easy to accomplish tasks. Some of the particularly good financial ones are:
22. Gather coins from inside furniture cushions, junk drawers, or other places; store your coins in a sturdy canister for an upcoming trip to the bank, where you can cash in your change.
23. Transfer excess funds from PayPal to your bank account.
26. Clean out your wallet, find receipts that need reimbursement, and make plans to spend unused gift cards.
28. Improve control of your finances by a) identifying non-monthly but recurring expenses such as property taxes, car insurance, etc; and b) setting aside money in a savings account to pay these bills when they come due.
30. Open an account with an online brokerage firm.
31. Contribute to a regular investment account or retirement account with your brokerage firm, making a one-time deposit or setting up automated monthly transfers.
35. Create a file or folder (paper or electronic) for all of your tax information. You may need to accumulate records throughout the year as many organizations send reports after a tax-related event instead of mailing statements at tax time.
38. Make a contribution to retirement and/or health savings accounts, lowering your tax bill.
Some more that I’d add to the list are:
- Check your bank and credit card statements for accuracy.
- Turn off or unplug all the unused electronics in your house.
- Transfer any excess money in your savings account to a brokerage account for investing.
- Rebalance your investment portfolio.
- Assess how well you’re honoring your budget.
- Ask your work’s financial officer to help you set up a 401(k) deferral.
- Make a list of what is in your wallet.
- Pay yourself first. Set up your paycheck for automatic savings.
- Align your finances with your values.
- Look at all your monthly services to see if you could drop any features to save money.
- Figure out what makes eating out fun and look for it at the grocery store, like special herb mayo or a panini press.
- Develop a savings plan for your kids college education.
- Save like you’re sixteen.
- Plan an evening of free fun.
- Compute your net worth.
If you had 15-minutes of free time, how would you use it?
Photo used here under Flickr Creative Commons.