Keeping your finances organized can be a monumental task. With so many other things happening in your life, sometimes your personal finances can be put on the back burner. Paying your bills on time, balancing your checkbook, organizing receipts and statements, checking credit card and loan balances and managing your cash takes a lot of time and energy. It all may sound overwhelming but getting your finances organized may be easier to manage than you think.
I’ve composed a simple list of 10 things you can do in your life to help organize your finances.
- If you are not already using a monthly budget, start. A budget is the first step in keeping your fiances organized.
- Keep all your bills in one place. A good example is a small basket in your home office. When a bill comes in the mail put the bill in your basket. Don’t clutter the bill basket with anything else. Coupons receipts and other items should go elsewhere.
- Get in the habit of paying all of your bills on a schedule. Have a certain day of the month scheduled that you pay each bill. When that day arrives pay that particular bill so you won’t forget.
- Always look over your credit card statements, cable, phone, water and electric bills. I’m not saying that these companies are dishonest I’m just saying that sometimes mistakes happen. Often times there will be an extremely high charge on phone bills and the only reason you catch it is because it is so high. Think about small charges that go unnoticed.
- Use Automatic Payment Options. Most companies now have the option for you to have money automatically withdrawn from your checking account to pay your bills. Many times especially with larger loans such as auto and home you will get a better interest rate.
- Use some type of personal budgeting or finance software. Computer software will automatically do all the math for you so less room for mistakes. It may also make tax time much easier.
- Cancel unused accounts. If you have 20 credit cards in your wallet, many that are never used, get rid of them. Many financial companies offer you special rewards or incentives to sign up for their cards. Unused credit cards clutter your wallet and your file cabinet. So turn down the free t-shirt and keep your finances organized.
- Consolidate your accounts as much as possible. If you have several accounts with small outstanding balances either pay them off or try to find a low interest rate loan to consolidate them. It’s much easier to keep up with one credit card payment each month than 10.
- Start an automatic savings account. The best way to save money is to make it mandatory. Saving a small amount every week is better than putting money in savings when you have some extra, because you will always have an excuse.
- Clean up your personal financial files. Keep all your financial records in some type of file cabinet. At the end of each year move those items into a manila envelope and keep them in a safe place.
Whether you are a high school graduate, college graduate, middle aged or already retired taking control of your personal finances is key to success. Follow these 10 simple suggestions an you will be well on track to organizing your finances!