5 Simple Steps to Organize Your Finances

By April Lewis-Parks

Spring is near and that means it’s time to clean up the winter clutter, from sprucing up your house and yard to organizing your personal finances so you can better monitor your monetary world. Sloppiness in any part of your life can lead to confusion, which eventually leads to mistakes being made. Mistakes in your finances could be devastating so don’t hesitate, use these simple steps to organize, streamline and better manage your accounts, bills and money.

  1. Reduce the mound of paper: Like many other households you may have a place where you put bills to be paid, credit card offers, bank slips/statements and a variety of other financial information. Take the time to separate that pile, placing uniform items in separate piles. Once you do that choose the piles that can be shredded, such as credit card offers and other marketing junk mail. As far as statements and bills, it is recommended that you keep tax documents for 6 years and all other necessary material for 1 year. That means it’s okay to shred older statements, bills and receipts. One important point, be sure to shred these items; if that means you have to purchase a shredder than do so, it’s an essential investment.
  2. Pick a spot: Choose a place in your home that is quiet and has ample room to accommodate your financial portfolio. You’ll want to have a desk, computer, drawers/compartments or a filing cabinet to make certain you can organize your things in an efficient and sensible manner. If the paperwork gets a bit overwhelming take it and store it in a safe place until it can be shredded.
  3. Reduce your accounts: If you suffer from multiple-account-syndrome then you probably wrack your brains over organizing your various credit card accounts, bank accounts and miscellaneous other things. If possible condense the amount of credit cards you carry and try to keep all of your bank business at one bank. This will help you streamline your finances and cure those nauseating headaches when dealing with mounds of confusing paperwork.
  4. Schedule a time for bills: In order to keep up with your various bills and accounts you should schedule a time each week to spend on your finances. This will ensure timely payments and keep you efficient and organized.
  5. Modernize: If you want to go more high-tech than pen and paper, purchase software that’s geared toward helping you organize and track your finances in an easy manner. Programs such as Quicken, Moneydance or free programs such as Mint or Gnucash can simplify bill paying and keeping tabs on your accounts.

Just be utilizing these 5 steps you will be able to clean up and organize your finances. And remember to take this very seriously. Your finances are the cornerstone to your lifestyle and your everyday life in general. If you keep a messy portfolio of financial information than chances are other aspects of your life will also become sloppy and, as stated earlier, that will only lead to trouble. So start organizing now.