If you haven’t balanced your checkbook in awhile, lose your received bills before they’re paid, or put off filing your tax returns because it’s too complicated to get everything together, then it’s most likely time to organize your money. Below are five quick ideas:
1. Merge your credit cards. Rather than having a lot of different credit cards, consolidate all of your expenses on one credit card. This can result in less uncertainty over which card to use, it can give you a better idea of how much debt you’re accumulating, it may give you more back for your dollar, and you’ll only have to write out one payment check per month.
2. Employ a bill paying system. As soon as you get bills in the mail, they should instantly be placed into a bill paying system. Use that same bill paying system to store paid bill summaries, being certain that every category are in its own folder or envelope. Doing this makes it very easy to look something up when needed.
3. Organize your expenses, while you spend. As you spend, just record that outlay. This can be called your Expense Summary. A computer program like Quicken or a straightforward spreadsheet is great for this purpose, or you can do this with paper and pen.
4. Balance your checkbook monthly. In order for you to have an idea of how much money is sitting in your checking account, which checks have cleared, and any errors that you or your bank may have made, you have to balance your checking account. It doesn’t take that long if you balance your checkbook the same day your statement and canceled checks arrive back from the bank each month.
5. Keep your tax-related stuff together. Before tax season, you’ll start to receive tax related information from your job, your bank, etc. Keep all of these tax-related papers in a labeled file folder. This way, when you’re ready to do your taxes, you won’t have to search for the papers you need.