February 20th, 2012
It’s not too late to start a New Year’s resolution. If one of your goals is to get your personal finances under control, Brian O’Connell’s article “5 Tips to Organize Your Financial Records Once and For All” may be just what you need. Here are some of his suggestions:
Reduce paperwork: O’Connell offers a good rule of thumb for what to do with bills – if they can’t be used for tax purposes, don’t save them. Get a folder to put receipts and bills for tax purposes, and shred the rest.
You may also consider going paperless to reduce paper. Some people like to get a physical bill in the mail as a reminder, but if you pay your bills online, you can set up an email reminder instead. O’Connell suggests using a free online document management tool from mint.com.
Keep important documents safe: Get a file cabinet, or even better, a fireproof safe, to keep all your critical paperwork, like wills, passports, marriage and birth certificates, Social Security cards, tax returns and W2 information, mortgage information, receipts and warranty information for large purchases, 401(k), investment statements, and credit card agreements santa ana bail bonds .
Track spending: This is very easy to do with online banking. You may also consider making a spreadsheet with a column for “necessities” and a column for “luxuries.” This will help you see where you can cut back.