• Harry N. Stout

Cash Tips: Moneytime – You Need More

Updated: May 22


I have been saying for years that one of the reasons people have difficulty with their money matters is they do not dedicate enough time to them. From learning basic money fundamentals and understanding today’s economic events to devoting time on the nuts and bolts of planning and budgeting, we don’t spend enough time on these tasks. I recently came across key information that supports my long-held beliefs.


A great source for finding out where people spend their time is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey. The survey shows that people spent about 1.8 minutes a day, or 55 minutes per month, on managing their finances. This does not include time spent reading or learning new skills. Just about 2 minutes per day on the mechanics of financial management.


Does that seem like enough time to you to look after bill paying, maintaining and monitoring your cash budget and looking after your investments, if you have gotten to that stage of life? I don’t think so! I know I spend more time than that and I have taken a number of actions to minimize the time I spend on these matters.


Here are some things I have done to make my financial management life as easy as possible:

  • I have set up a simple spreadsheet to manage my cash budget and monitoring of expenses. I review this each month to see my progress and adherence to the budget I have established.

  • I have bills sent to me electronically whenever possible

  • Where I can, I use my travel rewards credit card to pay bills that will not generate a credit card surcharge for paying bills this way. This does two things for me: (1) Makes sure the bills are paid as due (2) Earns me miles and points to use for free travel. I have gotten this down to the point where I earn miles and points where ever possible.

  • I use electronic bill pay for all my other bills that can’t be paid with my rewards credit card so that they are paid on time and correctly. I do this to give me peace of mind and avoid the drudgery of having to pay bills by hand.

So the question to you is how much time are you spending each month on the mechanics of managing your money? Take a hard look at your investment of time. My belief is that 1.8 minutes per day is not enough to properly look after your money matters.


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