Organizing Your Personal Finances

girl organizing her Personal FinancesWhether you consider yourself a financial expert or budgeting amateur, it’s important to have a solid system to help you organize your personal finances. Here are four tips to organize your bills and personal finances.

Gather it up

The first step to organizing your finances is to get all financial-related information in one place. If your personal financial papers are currently piled into paper bags, stuffed in shoeboxes, and dominating your desk, start by putting all the various bills, receipts, and statements in a box or pile. It’s much easier to organize when all your information is in one spot!

Sort and separate

Now that your papers are all together, it’s time to sort them into categories. The simplest way to organize personal finances is to separate tax-related items from ones that you won’t be claiming (ask your tax preparer for more information about your specific situation). From those two main financial types – tax/non-tax, your papers will start giving you clues to some broad categories – utilities, electronics, auto, home, etc. Create piles for each of those categories.

Find homes

Now it’s time to create dedicated spaces where your financial papers can live. Purchase an accordion folder and some hanging files. Into the accordion goes your tax-related info – one tab for each sub-category. The benefit of the accordion folder is that it can be easily stored for safe keeping when the tax year is over. Your non-tax-related financial information goes into the hanging files – one file for each of non-tax-related category. Continue filing receipts, statements, and bills into their new homes as they come in.

Track it

Once you have all your financial information sorted, separated, and filed, it’s easy to take the next step and track where your hard-earned cash is going. Easy-to-use computer programs like Quicken or Money take your previously-organized financial information and let you generate budgets, reports, and projections – letting you stay in control of your financial life. If it’s been awhile since you last organized your finances, or if it’s your first time doing so, I know the process can seem daunting – but it can be simple if you take it step-by-step.

Don’t stress

The old quote “There ain’t no stress like money stress, but you can only worry so much.”, basically means, don’t go crazy worrying about your finances. By taking advantage of these steps, creating a budget and using the financial bill organizer method that meets your needs, you’ll be able to kick back and simply enjoy life

Say farewell to paper

Today, almost every bill you have can be paid online which means everything can be handled digitally. Although it might be intimidating at first, it’ll make managing your finances a lot easier in the long run.

The concept of going paperless may be a bit confusing When you decide to start paying your bills online instead of through the mail, you’ll have to set up online accounts with each of your individual service providers’ websites. After you do that you’re usually given the option of going paperless which simply means they will stop sending paper statements, promotions and bills in the mail. Instead, you’ll be able to view all of this information online, and you can pay your bill directly from the site, instead of writing a check each month and going through the hassle of mailing it in. You’ll never have to seal an envelope or lick a stamp again when it comes to your financial and household accounts.

There are many benefits to paying your bills online, but the two major reasons to go paperless are:

1. You’ll help protect the environment by reducing your use of paper.
2. You’ll help protect your sanity by reducing the paper clutter in your household.

Let’s face it — saying goodbye to the stacks and piles of bills, statements, invoices, notices and love letters from your service providers is going to relieve a lot of stress in your life, and helping to save the planet is an added bonus!

Patricia Moore is business expert, interested in stock market and svenska spel casino forecasting.