Thursday, April 19, 2012

Finacial Organization: Keeping Records Up To Date and Organized

April is Financial Literacy Month. Part of being financially literate is learning more about what you need to do to improve your financial state.

Step one is to organize your finances.
  • Keep a folder or basket for all your current bills and receipts.
  • Reconcile your bank and credit card statements monthly.
  • Keep a folder for all your tax information for the year.
  • Keep a folder for your recent copy of your credit report and your credit score.
  • Somewhere - in a folder or on your computer - have a list of all of your accounts. On this list also have your account numbers, online IDs, and passwords.
  • Have a list of all retirement accounts, investments, and life insurance policies.
  • Let someone know where your will, living will, and durable power of attorney documents are located.
  • Have a budget where you track your finances - either in a ledger, an excel sheet on your computer, or with a personal finance software program.
Step two is to set up a good filing system.
  • Have a desktop filing system for current items like bills/receipts.
  • Set up a hanging file system for other financial records.
Receipts that need to be kept for tax purposes
Paid bills that need to be kept for tax purpose
Bank statements
Insurance documents
Pay stubs
Medical costs
Car finances
Mortgage information
Social security and retirement information
Financial investments

Step three is organizing your time.
  • Set a regular time to pay bills.
  • Take time to reconcile bank statements when they come in.
  • Take time to reconcile credit card bills when they come in.
  • Set times to clear out financial clutter
Grocery receipts once recorded in budget
Old paycheck stubs once the tax year has been completed
Utility bills after recording unless you keep for one year to compare cost
Credit card receipts after reconciliation unless it is a big ticket item you wish to

Taking time to organize your finances may seem overwhelming, but if you take the time now it will save you time and stress down the road.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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