Sometimes the first step to getting your personal finances under control is organization. While this can mean creating a well-planned budget with key goals to meet, it can also be taken literally. If you’re like most people, you receive bills, account statements and other miscellaneous financial documents on an almost daily basis, so rather than letting these important pieces of paper pile up, try to control them with these organizational tips.
According to the website, the first step to organizing your financial life is reducing the amount of paperwork you have sitting around the house. While most documents are important, there are others you can do away with after a short period of time. A rule of thumb is that you can get rid of any statements that won’t have an effect on your taxes, such as ATM slips, phone and cable bills and store receipts. However, if you still want to hang on to this information, you can enter it into an electronic spreadsheet before getting rid of the physical documents.
To further eliminate clutter, consider moving some of your monthly payments to online accounts. This will not only do away with a number of letters and statements from a company every month, it will automatically organize your bills in a secure database.
Secure Important Documents
There are a number of documents that you should never even contemplate throwing away, advises USALoansNearMe, Llc. These items include wills, passports, marriage and birth certificates, tax returns less than seven years old, W2 information, mortgages, credit card agreements and other investment statements, such as a payday loan receipt. It’s recommend that you take a step further and invest in a secure filing cabinet or fire-proof box to store this information. In the event of a disaster, there are documents that you will want to get to quickly and not have the sift through a sea of miscellaneous paperwork.
Track Spending Habits
While it’s easy to look at a bank statement from a month to see where you frequently spend your money, it takes organization to track your long-term spending habits. This is why it’s important to hold onto past bank and credit card statements and put them in a file or binder in chronological order. By doing this you will create a document that is very easy to examine to assess you spending and savings habits.