Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How's Your Finacial Literacy?


April has been declared National Financial Literacy Month. In 2013 and 2014 44% of adults said that their stress about personal finance matters is somewhat or very high. Twelve percent said that managing day-to-day expenses was their primary financial concern, followed by medical expenses (10%), retirement (9%), and student loans (9%). The good news is that you can improve your situation following these three steps.

  1. Organize your finances
  • Keep a folder or basket to corral all your current bills and receipts
  • Track where your money goes - set up a budget either in a ledger, excel sheet, or with a personal software program (61% of adults don't have a budget)
  • 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
  • Maintain a list of all your accounts with account numbers, online IDs, and passwords - let someone you trust know where the list is kept and how to open it
  • 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
2. Set up a good filing system
  • Have a desktop system for current items needing action like bills/receipts
  • Have a hanging file system for other financial records
           a. Receipts held for tax purposes
           b. Bank statements
           c. Insurance documents
           d. Pay stubs
           e. Medical costs
           f. Car finances
           g. Mortgage information
           h. Social Security and retirement information
           i. Investments

3. Organize your time
  • Schedule a regular time to pay bills - put this commitment on your calendar
  • Take time to reconcile bank statements/credit card statements within one week of receiving them
  • Schedule blocks of time to clear out financial clutter
          a. Grocery receipts once recorded in budget
          b. Paycheck stubs once tax year has been completed
          c. Utility bills after recording them
          d. Credit card receipts after reconciliation

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


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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