Financial Organization in 4 Easy Steps
You want to take financial control of your life and you know that it involves tracking every penny you spend to achieve financial organization.
You shutter at this thought, because you think it takes up so much time and that there is so much paperwork involved. It's already hard to sort all those petty little receipts that seem to be everywhere. Remembering when bills are due is a challenge too. It's hard enough to ensure that the bare necessities are covered in life, never mind keeping track of every penny...
Do you feel that you don't have control over your finances? When a bill is due, do you have to go hunt down the bill to find it? Do you struggle with keeping track with how much money you have? Financial organization will make it easier to keep track of your finances.
To keep on top of your finances, a financial organization system is necessary. It's also a vey good idea to limit the amount of information that you have coming in. Keep all of the important information that you need in one place and process your finances on a regular basis.
Choose a System for Financial Organization
Decide upon the type of system you are going to use to keep track of your financial information. There are many computer programs that can assist you wtih this task, such as Quicken or Wesabe is a very good free web-based solution.
Alternatively you can keep track with pencil and paper. Before computers were invented, people did this for hundreds of years. There is no one ideal solution - the system that you pick is one that you will find the easiest to use.
Simplify to Achieve Financial Organization
You may feel that you are bombarded daily with bills, receipts and notices. Getting all that paperwork can easily overwhelm a person! Combat this problem by limiting the amount of paper that you have to work with. Simple way to help with financial organization are:
- Stop the credit card offers by using OptOutPrescreen.com (US only). Limit your credit cards by having only one or tow. Also, credit card applications are a big identity theft risk.
- Do the same with junk mail (although you will never completely eliminate it). Use the Direct Marketing Association's own mail preference service
- Consolidate all accounts as much as possible. For example if you have bank accounts at several locations, combine them to one single bank. The fewer accounts that you have, the less you need to track and the easier for you to achieve financial organization
- Cancel accounts that you do not use any more. Receiving unnecessary paperwork from unused accounts adds to your clutter and makes it hard to focus on the more important tasks at hand
- Use automatic transactions as much as possible. Are you able to pay bills online? Can you set up automatic payments or transfers? Can your employer pay via direct deposit? Any automatic transactions makes life a lot simplier.
Keep Everything in One Place
Having a dedicated spot to work on your finances makes it easier to to charge and achieve financial organization. Designate one spot where you can periodically collect all your bills and receipts that you bring home. Make sure the area is clean and used only for finances and be sure to put all your documents in this one place.
Keep old receipts and tax documents in a secondary storage area, as you don't need to access this information frequently. Be sure to shred any old financial information when it's no longer needed.
Process Financial Information Regularly
Creating a system and designating a space for financial organization will not be any good to you if you don't manage your money on a regular basis. If you do it daily, these tasks should only take approximately ten minutes. If you don't have ten minutes a day, do it weekly - it should take you no more than 45 minutes.
Regular maintenance prompts you to pay bills on time. It also give you a specific time to review your statements, which is very important in order to avoid any unexpected items.
If you go longer than 2 weeks without entering information in your selected system, such as Quicken, you may find it a frustrating experience. It's possible to forget important transactions if you go longer than 2 weeks. When you track each and every penny that you save or spend, you will accumulate quite a bit of data. If you don't do this on a regular basis, it can quickly get out of control.
Financial Organization Leads to Saving Money
Keeping track of your finances is not necessarily very difficult; however, it can be very intimidating to begin. Making the effort is well worth it. Financial organization is the first step towards achieving other financial goals such as saving for a downpayment, debt reduction or investing for retirement. It is most important to begin; no matter what method you choose.