10 Steps To A Simple Financial Life

One day you woke up and you realized that you were an adult, and, as said adult, you would be mailed something called a “fund prospectus.” What? How did this happen to you? What should you do about it? Consumer Reports has 10 steps that, if followed, will free you from staring at the pile of “adult” crap on your desk. (And not the good kind of “adult,” sadly.)

Our favorites:

Put your savings on autopilot. Have your employer deposit your paycheck directly into your checking account and then instruct the fund company of your choosing to move a specified amount from checking into a money-market or other fund once a month.

Use one home and car insurer. You’ll have to deal with only one agent, and you’ll snag a multipolicy discount as high as 20 percent on either your auto or homeowners policy or both.

Computerize your taxes. If you’re still kicking up eraser dust when you fill out your 1040, it’s time to join the digital age. You’ll probably discover that you save hours of work. The IRS estimates that the average household will spend 14 to 16 hours completing Form 1040 and related forms and schedules, not including Schedule A or D. By contrast, Intuit claims that users of its best-selling TurboTax software will be able to do the job in about four hours.

More at Consumer Reports. —MEGHANN MARCO

10 easy steps to the simple (financial) life [Consumer Reports]