Do you have trouble keeping track of your finances?
Do due dates for bills catch you off guard, month after month?
In this post, I offer a few tips to help you keep your finances in order.
Corral and keep track of financial information as soon as it comes into your home or office so it doesn’t get lost or misplaced.
Set up a permanent area on a desk or counter with a basket, box, or other containment item to temporarily catch postal mail and other paper materials.
Create a temporary finance folder in your email inbox for financial information and/or set up an automatic filtering system for emails.
Review *all* of your statements and bills.
Take care to read and check all of your financial statements, be it bank, credit, insurance, mortgage, loans, car payments, retirement statements or anything else. Don’t assume your bank, financial agency or provider is keeping accurate records; mistakes happen! The best way to protect yourself and your money is to be vigilant and double-check numbers and calculations. Check statements and bills as soon as possible to catch potential errors and prevent late payments.
Mark bill payment dates in your calendar.
Do you know when bills are due each month for utilities, mortgages/rent and other items? Leave no room for confusion and get these dates down on a calendar (paper or digital, it doesn’t matter) so you can see when bills are due each month. Schedule payment sessions/check balancing sessions for yourself in to your calendar a couple of times each month to process finances en masse ahead of due dates.
Keep complete files and records.
You’ve paid all your bills and you’re done, right? Not quite. Collect all of your financial statements, receipts and reports and create related folders. You might want to start by creating folders for the major bills you have to pay on a monthly basis – mortgage/rent, water, electric, gas, cable, cell phone, internet, individual credit cards, bank statements, and so on. Drop statements, receipts and reports into their proper folders as soon as you’ve paid the related bill to keep things tidy.
Now to you… what step (or steps) are you going to take in future to help keep your finances in order? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!