Every year as the close of summer rolls around, we launch into the season of life known as back to school rush. Let’s be honest; when you walk into any major bigbox retailer from Aug 1st onward, you know it is coming for you. The seasonal aisles of giant orange plastic water guns and inflatable pizza floats with 10 cup holders are suddenly replaced by rainbow coloured gel pens, wide ruled lined paper, and those classic pink erasers that bring back all the memories of our own childhoods. Your list begins to grow as the kids need new school clothes, new backpacks, new shoes, new this, new that….you get me. We get the kids all outfitted in the best and brightest to set them off on a fresh new start for the year, spotless and smudge-free. It’s both wonderful and horrible at the same time, marking the eternal passage of time that you will never get back. I adore this time to reflect on the things I plan to do to be just a little bit better this year like thoughtful bento box lunches I will pack the night before the first day of school with character-shaped rice balls and daisy shaped pineapples, and complete with little love notes of inspiration to motivate my kids to “be the very best you!”
But if I am totally real, the most glorious part about the kids going back to school is the Mom New Year. September – the Mom New Year – is the perfect time to tackle resolutions that help set the tone for the months ahead, until it is summer time again. This year I’ve made the commitment to get a few things in order, namely my money. I am a pretty responsible money manager, but something that always trips me up is managing the incoming bills. When are they due? How much? What account am I paying with? Am I waiting for a paper bill or did I already go paperless? It’s a job in itself to manage the comings and goings of the household bills. But I’ve found a partner to help me conquer and tame this monthly beast: Paytm.
Paytm is a new to me, and in fact, it’s newish to Canada and creating a great buzz for bill payers. It’s a free app that helps you get your bills in order AND rewards you simply for paying them! (I’m big on positive reinforcement.) I was able to download the app right in the iTunes store, but its also available in Google Play store for Android users.
Once you signup with Paytm, you simply link your bank account(s) and/or a credit card(s) to easily pay your bills as they come in. I get reminders when my bills come due so that I never miss a deadline AND the app even alerts me if a regular bill is out of line with previous ones. (Hello cellphone overcharges?!?) Knowing what is what helps me better plan my incoming and outgoing cashflow to prevent the dreaded OH $%^* NO MONEY feeling that can creep up between pay periods with no warning. (And always when you’re out of milk or rice for the special lunches!)
The app has been so handy, but I think my favourite aspect is the points. I am all about loyalty points and I love a deal. When I pay my bills with my credit card, I get Paytm points – so, hello POINTS ON POINTS! I am a points tornado! I can then cash in my Paytm points to actually pay down my bills or redeem them for digital cards, and save my credit card points for holiday purchases or family travel. Basically, this app is a serious money saving, time saving game changer. PayTm has now become a key part of my money management strategy and so far has been a lifesaver. I am reasonably tech-savvy – it’s a big part of what I do for a living - but even my wanna-be-a-pioneer low-tech husband uses it without hassle. (I may convert his low-tech habits, yet! And while he’s amazing in every way, this is pretty incredible as he just barely learned how to shortcut copy and paste.)
Take a look at what Paytm can do for your money situation this Mom New Year, and check it out at the iTunes or Google Play store. It’s free, it will save you money, and it will get your money in order! Now that’s worth popping a champagne cork and throwing confetti for!