Seven Ways to Simplify Your Finances

There are some things you can do that will free up your time for the simple things.

Zions Bank Jul 12, 2017

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” ― Henry David Thoreau

National Simplicity Day is July 12, which is not coincidentally the birthday of philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who would have been 200 this year.

Thoreau was an advocate for living a life of simplicity. Considering that he was trying to simplify a 19th century lifestyle, he would no doubt be astounded by our 21st century lifestyle.

Thoreau’s best known book is “Walden; or, Life in the Woods.” It is a classic that is regularly identified as one of the greatest American books. This memoir of the two years Thoreau spent living in a remote cabin focuses on promoting the benefits of a simple lifestyle.

Today, escaping to such a retreat for two years is not an option for most people, but we can still benefit from taking steps to simplify how we spend our days. These actions can reduce stress and increase happiness.

Back in Thoreau’s day finances were much simpler. Of course, there were no credit or debit cards, but there were also no checking accounts, or even U.S. currency. People got by using coins or local bank notes or bartering. Now our finances are much more complicated.

Some steps to simplify are not going to work very well in the 21st century. It might be hard to chop wood in exchange for a pail of milk. However, there are some things you can do that will free up your time for the simple things:

  1. Popmoney®[cite::4123::cite]: You’re at lunch with your friends and it’s time to split the tab. No need to hassle with cash or check. You can use Popmoney® through your Zions Bank mobile app to send money to your friend. All you need is her or his cell phone number or email address. The money will be transferred to your friend’s account within days.
  2. eStatements: Why hassle with paper statements sitting in your mailbox or even your garbage where they can be taken by identify thieves? If you switch to eStatements, your bank statements are password protected. They are also easy to find when you sign into your online banking account. Saving paper also saves trees…leading to more Life in the Woods.
  3. Mobile check deposit: Why wait for the bank to open or take the time to drive there when you can deposit a check with your phone? That’s right — your Zions Bank mobile app allows you to use your smart phone to take a photo of the front and back of a check made out to you and deposit it remotely. Use the time you saved to take a nature hike.
  4. Mobile and online bill pay: If you do get a chance to spend some time in that cabin in the woods, you can set up online bill pay in advance to pay all your bills before they are due. No need to look for a mailbox or worry about forgetting and then getting charged late fees. At Zions, you can use your computer or smart phone to pay bills and save you money.
  5. Direct deposit: Make arrangements for your employer to deposit your pay directly into your account and you get your money faster without a chance of it getting lost before you go to the bank.
  6. Apple Pay® and Android Pay®: If you tie your Zions Bank credit or debit card to your mobile device, you don’t even need to carry any plastic with you. You can purchase directly from your phone.
  7. Online loan application: Gone are the days where you had to go to the bank to apply for a loan. Now you can apply from the convenience of your home or cabin — or perhaps your boat in the pond — by using your digital device.

When you think about it, all these modern bank simplifications make it possible to actually pursue a Walden Pond experience.

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ― Henry David Thoreau

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