A Few Steps To Organize Your Finances.
Few things will shake most of us up as much as suddenly realizing we’ve missed something important. It could be a financial deadline, sending in important paperwork, or misplacing a document you need. Whatever it is, you can do away with that rotten feeling by taking a few steps to organize your finances once and for all. Take this advice and never be surprised by those missed deadlines and documents again.
Bill paying –
Create a list of all of the bills you pay each month, including an average of how much each bill is each month. Note down when the bill is due and how the bill is paid, e.g. personal check, online bill-pay, automatic bank transfer, etc. Also, don’t forget periodic bills, like insurance, water and sewer and taxes. For periodic bills, add up the total for the year and multiply by 12. Save that amount each month so that there are no surprises when the bill is due.
Vital records –
Do you know where your birth certificate and passport is? If not, it’s time to get those important vital records organized. Birth certificates, passports, social security cards, marriage licenses and death records are all vital records that we need to keep forever. Make a copy, scan a copy (safely) and keep the originals in a safe place.
Organize your debt –
Sometimes debt can get out of control. Individuals may have debt on several credit cards, including the usual debt many people carry with cars and mortgages. Focus on the credit card debt first and make a plan of how you can reduce it and eventually pay it off. Financial experts often say to take the smallest balance and pay that off first because it helps to build momentum. Others say to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate, which may be the best advice, but may initially feel like it’s going to take forever. Do what makes sense to you, and will give you the most satisfaction.
– via Examiner.com
An Easy Way To Keep Your Budget On Track
Now that you have your papers, bills and debt organized, here is an easy way to keep your budget on track so you aren’t surprised by unexpected expenses from time to time. This one tip will only take minutes to put in place and will help you organize your finances and have great peace of mind.
Pull Out Your Budget at Least Once Per Month
Your bills could change on a monthly basis. Revise your budget as bills come in and adjust other expenses to make up for it, so you don’t accidentally overdraw your bank account.
For instance, some months and seasons bring higher electrical bills than others. Let’s say your electric bill is a $100 more in June than it was in May. Your budget may be based on spring electricity usage or the usage from a month where you had a lower electric bill.
Since June’s electric bill signals a change in expenses, you take out your monthly budget to see what other area of your budget you could adjust so you can pay your electric bill. To save $100, you exchange two dinners out for a bike ride with a packed lunch. You might also grab self-made or deli-made sandwiches to bring to a concert in the park instead of going out for pricey drinks.
The best part about having to cut down on one expense to pay for another is it will force you to break traditions and try something different.
What if you don’t have a budget? Create one today! Start by writing down your budget the way you’d like your expenses to unfold. At the end of the month, start tweaking your budget by adjusting other expenses when one expense is more than you expected. – via Investopedia
Do you have your finances and important documents organized?