Saturday, November 22, 2008

8 wasy to become financially organized

Everyone would like to have their finances in order, but this is no small task considered how busy the average American is in this day and age, on top of the complex nature of handling personal finance, so here are eight things that you can do that will help keep your finances in order.

1. Limit the number of paper checks you write. Keeping track of a large number of checks can often be quite difficult, if you can get things to be automatically drafted out of your checking account, or if you can pay for everyday purchases in cash, this will definitely reduce the amount of checks you have to take care of.

2. Limit your number of paper bills, if you can get your bills online or via email, it's probably a good idea, this way they won't get lost in the mail or lost in your home somewhere. They'll be right on your computer, which will be much easier to track.

3. Use an "expando" to keep your bills in order. They're a great way to store files without having to have an expensive file cabinet. They fold out like an accordion and are really cheap. This way you'll have a place where all of your bills are, and that way they won't get lost.

4. Regularly clean off your desk. If you don't take care of whatever's lying on your desk, it will pile up real quickly. Take a couple of hours every Saturday and take care of whatever's on your desk.

5. Throw junk mail away. For some reason credit card offers and other financial offers just sit on people's desk unopened...just shred them and don't worry about them.

6. Keep the important stuff. There is some paperwork you just need to keep, for example, if you ever have a bad debt that is settled, you need to keep that paper for a life time, because it will come back to haunt you and you need to prove that you paid the bill. Organize these important documents and keep them in a file cabinet or an expando.

7. Get your spouse onboard. Taking care of the finances in an orderly fashion is ten times easier if your spouse is helping and onboard. If everyone's pitching in, the task will be much less arduous

8. Set a time. Pick out some time every week just to give your financial life a once over, it doesn't have to be more than an hour a week, just take care of any bills, make sure there aren't any charges on your checking account or credit card that aren't yours, and balance the budget. Doing a little bit every week will save you a lot of time in the long run.

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