Top 7 Organizing Tips to Get Your Finances in Order
By Stephanie L. H. Calahan
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23% of adults say they pay bills late (& thus incur fees) because they loose them, according to Harris Interactive. The systems you use (or don't use) can make or break your financial situation. The following 7 finacial organizing tips will help you get on your way to financial success.
- Use a Receipt Box -
If you have not been good about saving all the receipts for tax deductions, put a smallish box, without a lid, where you unload your purse or briefcase and make the habit of doing nothing when you come home until you put the receipts in that box.
- Bill Paying Made Simple -
Do you have challenges keeping your bills and other tasks current? Try creating an expenditures file and keep an expandable system with pockets for 31 days and 12 months. When a bills arrive, open them and place in the pocket of the day to be paid. Eight days before the due date is usually enough time. Once paid, keep your expenditures in separate files for each creditor. Then it is easy to find the credit payment or any other bill when needed.
- Paper Management -- Tax Files -
Divide your tax files into the categories you know you use of into the categories that your credit card company uses to summarize your expenses, such as travel (car rental, lodging, transportation); entertainment (restaurants, movies); merchandise (gasoline, automotive, household, retail stores); healthcare (medical, Rx); miscellaneous and education.
- Designate 2 to 4 Days Per Month as Bill Paying Day -
Ninety-nine percent of the time, you don't have to drop everything you're doing when you get a bill in the mail to pay it right away. Designate 2 to 4 days per month and do all of your bill paying on those days. For example, you could choose the 16th and 29th of each month. You may do the same, or perhaps you might want to pay any pending bills one day per week, such as every Friday.
- Protect Your Personal Information -
Have your checks imprinted with your name and address only. (Some businesses will not honor checks without addresses) There is no sense in providing individuals with any other information such as your telephone number and social security number, etc. (See our download section for more ways to protect your personal information.)
- Create an Expenditure File -
Do you have challenges keeping your bills and other tasks current? Try creating an expenditures file and keep an Everyday File by Globe-Weis. Their expandable system has pockets for 31 days and 12 months. When a bills arrive, open them and place in the pocket of the day to be paid. Eight days before the due date is usually enough time. Once paid, keep your expenditures in separate files for each creditor. Then it is easy to find the credit payment or any other bill when needed.
- Keep Receipts Together -
Keep an envelope in your purse or wallet to hold receipts needed for expense records or tax purposes. When you return to the office, put the receipts in pre-designated envelopes (business meals, fuel, rental expenses and so on), then keep all the envelopes in a larger expanding file or box.
Stephanie L. H. Calahan professional organizer and speaker is president and founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. (http://www.calahansolutions.com) - a premier professional organizing and consulting firm, serving a national and local clientele in corporate settings, home-based businesses, and residential environments.
Article Submitted On: February 13, 2006