I used to rely on my brain to keep everything in my life organized. As we added more activities, bills and general complexity into our life, some of the smaller things started slipping. We started implementing some strategies to make everything easier. Below is a list of 15 things you can do to make future you happy. Are you ready to do yourself a huge favor?
15 Tips to Make Future You Happy
1.Set Payment Reminders
If you do not auto-pay your bills, set reminders on your calendar to notify you as bills come up. I used to rely on memory but have switched over to a reminder system for the few bills that aren’t automatic.
2. Clean before leaving for vacation
Obviously people get excited to go on vacation, and we are not an exception. But coming home to a house with dirty dishes or a pile of laundry makes ending the vacation even worse. Take an hour and set post vacation you up for success and tidy up before you leave.
3. Keep a UN/PW List
When your cable/internet stops working and you need a password to get service……better hope your significant other didn’t pick the password and forget to tell you. This one is from experience, put together a un/pw list (that is also PW protected with something you both wont forget).
4. Buy Gifts in Advance
Mrs. AE has finished all of our X-Mas shopping already. She spread it out over 3 months so we didn’t have a huge stressful hit on our monthly Credit Card bill. Now I just need to figure out what to get her……
5. Prepare Meals in Advance
There are 2 stages of meal prep. Freezer meals and On-demand prepared.
Freezer Meals – All the ingredients are chopped and sorted for either the crock pot or straight to plan
On-Demand Prepared – All the ingredients you need to make a meal are on hand and accessible when you need them.
We have tried freezer meals but don’t do it consistently (might change when the baby comes). We do plan our weekend/dinner meals out for the week and make sure we have everything needed to whip them up after work.
6. Take advantage of Sales
Buy in bulk when there are good sales on products you use consistently that don’t expire. We have hoarded toothpaste and laundry detergent when we find a good deal.
7. Pre-Pay for Vacations
This one is something we need to get better at. Whenever we book a big vacation that is a long ways out we have always paid the minimum to hold the reservation. Our new goal is to pay at least half up-front so we don’t punt the expense down the road. Remember – don’t let your vacation put you in debt.
8. Keep up with Standard Maintenance
Maintain what you have already spent money on! There are a ton of maintenance items that I could list out, but the biggies are your vehicle and furnace/air conditioning unit. Spend the $20-30 and replace furnace filters and change the cars oil. This is another good area to set a schedule for on your computer or phone – put it out of mind and let technology tell you what to do.
9. Track your Warranties
You know all those little warranty cards that come with everything you buy? Stop throwing them a way and designate a spot to keep them. Keeping these has already saved us time and money when our washing machine broke.
10. Prepare for work the night before
This is one of my favorite ones on the list, getting ready for work in the morning sucks a lot less when you have everything ready to go. I have forgotten my laptop at home and only realized it when I sat down at my desk. Going to make a sandwich without bread was a monthly occurrence for a while.
Also – I have spent 5 minutes trying to find socks on more than one occassion, setting my clothes out has made our mornings a lot less hectic.
11. Check your credit score
Credit scores are not only important for getting the best interest rate possible, but they also give a great snapshot of all your open accounts. Take 5 minutes a month to check your score and new inquiries, future you will be happy to know any identity theft will be caught early.
12. File Organization
Not being able to find something when I need it drives me crazy! Unfortunately I only have myself to blame when there things are hiding in super weird places (the guest room closet is a logical place to keep home closing documentation right???).
Moving forward we have sectioned off an area in our closet for all important paperwork, next step is to actually organize it in a discoverable way.
13. Garbage and Recycling Schedule
This one seems so easy, but the first time you stick yourself with a full garbabe can over the holidays you wont forget it. Program the garbage and reclying days into that magical calander and set the reminder before you leave for work. You don’t want a stinky garbage bin, especially in summer.
14. Financial Emergency Plan
15. Save Energy at Home
Lower those energy bills by shutting off lights, running fewer loads of laundry and most importantly set a heating/cooling schedule on your thermostat! Don’t keep it toasty warm when you aren’t home or sleeping.
All of the above actions can easily be done once, but it takes time to build them into habits. If you have trouble getting things ready for work, force your self to set things up the night before Every Day until it becomes second nature. I never used to set alarms or schedules the more I use them the more I like them. Set a minute aside and make it easier on future you.
Are there any things you do to make your future self happy?
Bonus Tip: If you live in Minnesota and want to have beer for the Vikings game buy it on Saturday
Some products that can help you:
Personal Capital: Personal Capital has a ton of great Free features, you can track your spending, net worth and even analyze your portfolio. It has top notch security and I am able to connect all of my accounts. Saves a ton of time!
Sofi – I saved a ton of money using SoFI for a Student Loan Refinance. They were great to work with, the process was super easy (compared to my previous refi) and I got a great rate.