A very important, often overlooked step of financial success is keeping good financial records. Keeping good records will help you manage your cash flow each month in turn saving you hundreds of dollars per year. Good financial record keeping consists of budgeting,Â tracking your spending, and good record keeping and filing.
Creating a budget and sticking to it is the first step to good financial record keeping. Creating a budget can be as simple as one page or as complex as an entire budgeting software package. A budget is a record ofÂ planned expenses and incomes over a certain period of time. You should spend every penny of your income before you actually get it. Most personal budgets are for a period of one month.
Tracking your spending is the second part of good record keeping and it follows very closely to keeping a good budget. After you have planned out your budget you need to track your income and expenses. Record every single financial transaction for one month, even vending machine purchases. You will probably be surprised at how much money you waste in a month.
Finally, keeping track of all your receipts, bills, credit card statements, invoices, mileage logs, check images or copies, donations, pay check stubs, bank records and any other financial record if very important. All of these records should be filed in neat organized folders and secured somewhere safe. They should be easily accessible so you can continually keep them updated. This will make tax time quick and easy. It will also help you make accurate tax filings and could save you hundreds of dollars ever year.
Keeping good financial records will save you time and money throughout the year. Start taking control of your personal finances today.