Thursday, April 11, 2013

9 Ways To Get Financially Organized

Whether you have a lot of money or a little money, it's imperative that you stay financially organized.   

Here's how I do it!

1. Have a Bill Binder/Bill Command Center
Vital to the health of your finances, you must know where your bills/statements/receipts are. If your bills are strewn about like this, it's time for an intervention. ;)
 Below are my binders from 2012, which I continue to use. I just haven't gotten around to changing the year on the cover. Enclosed are tabs for my bills and documents. It saves me time to know where everything is located. 
So grab a binder, some sorting bins or one of these:
But centralize your papers, and start labeling.

2. Pay Your Bills Online, Because:
~It's free through your bank and through the company's website
~It's faster
~It saves you money on postage, envelopes and checks
~You'll have record of your last payment, so you don't have to search for it
~YOU SHOULD NEVER LEAVE YOUR BILL PAYMENT ON YOUR MAILBOX....unless you want to be a victim of identity theft. No neighborhood is "safe enough" to forego this advice. 

3. Keep a Debt Chart (and Update It Monthly)
I suggest starting with your smallest debt to your largest. Here are some ways to keep track:

Use an Excel spreadsheet...
or a pen and paper...
or a whiteboard.

4. Write Down Your Monthly and Yearly Goals 
(and Keep Them Visible)
Did you know it's been proven that we're more likely to achieve a goal if we write it down? I suppose we feel inclined to pursue the goal a bit more whole-heartedly when we see it frequently, reminding us to take action.

Have you written down your financial goals? I challenge you to do so.

One goal may be to pay off a medical bill. Another goal may be to afford a new piece of furniture, or to fill up a stranger's gas tank. Yet another goal may be to support a charity that you're passionate about. There is no goal too insignificant to list. 

5. Shred Anything With An Account Number, etc.
Click HERE to see a full list of documents you should shred!!

6. Stay Abreast of Your Credit Report
How can you check your credit report from a trusted source? You can use www.annualcreditreport.com. I have always been pleased with this site. They give you the option of checking through one or all of the following: TransUnion, Equifax or Experian. It's recommended to review your credit report to monitor fraudulent activity that you may not otherwise be aware of. {Once, I noticed that my middle name was incorrect on my report, so I got it corrected.}

7. Know Thy Credit Score
Even if your FICO number is low, it's better to know it so that you can work to improve it. Who knows, it may not be as bad as you think!! The aforementioned sites at www.annualcreditresport.com will provide an opportunity for you to purchase your score. You can either pay the small free or choose the option of a free trial period to get your credit score. Go for it! If you don't want to pay the monthly membership fee, then be sure to call and cancel your trial period within the allotted time (which is usually 7-14 days) and your credit card will not be charged. {This has been the case in my experience.}

8. Keep Track of Your Passwords
Don't leave them lying around, but make sure to document your passwords so you know what they are. There's nothing like being rejected multiple times when trying to log into an account.

9. Share It All With Your Spouse
See?? Isn't working together fun?? *Good times*

In all seriousness, let the other one in the relationship know what's going on. If something were to happen to you, would the other know where to begin? Would they know how to log into an account? Would they even have access to accounts in order to handle situations? Both parties should be enlightened at all times.

Well, there you have it, friends!
 You're 9 steps closer to getting your:
Have any of these tips helped you or spurred you to take action?

What organizational tips might you add?

I enjoy hearing from you, and I always return emails. Also, be sure to let me know if you're a new follower, so I may return the favor.
Have a blessed week!

Until next time,
Meredith



 Feathered Nest Friday at 
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20 comments:

Stacey said...

This is all such good advice. I actually am planning to work on paperwork today. I've really become a procrastinator with this duty. Ugh!!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Thank you for all the wonderful tips...I sure could put some to good use. Also, thanks for coming by today:)

Blessings,
Linda

NanaDiana said...

Great advice for people, Meredith. I hope you have a wonderful weekend- xo Diana

Annmarie Pipa said...

very good tips and advice! we use all of them!!! and having the monthly bills, like gas and electric automatically added to a credit card also helps get points..not much, but eventually it all adds up like everything else!!

Design_Fluff said...

Good tips, Meredith! The hubs especially is fond of the excel sheet.

Sherry at The Rusty Pearl said...

I love this post and its full of inspiration and information . I love too that your brother calls you the tourist on the other post.. My friends call me POPPIE for the papparatzi lol .. YOUR family is just beautiful and I LOVE YOUR NAME .. Meredith.. I love that name girl .. Hugs and have a blessed week .

must love junk said...

This is so good, Meredith! My hubby and I were just talking about this-he takes care of so much (financially) and I need to be aware of more details.Thanks for sharing!
Susan

ChatterBlossom said...

Good tips! My hubs takes care of most of the things, but I should take a better look and get more involved.
-Jamie
ChatterBlossom

Mary Reed said...

Meredith, this is really good stuff! I'm a big fan of the ease and ready- documentation of paying bills online. My husband LOVES spreadsheets {personally, my eyes glaze over when he brings them out!} I'm thankful that he's so organized! I always love your posts!
Thanks so much for visiting my place. I'm so glad to hear that 2011's difficulties have passed... very encouraging! I love "The setback was a setup for even greater blessings". I'll remember that! Thank you sweet friend for your prayers and encouragement.
Blessings and love ~ Mary

Julia Terpstra said...

Oh my goodness, I bet that post took a long time to put together, but thank you so much for doing it! I'm pretty organized, but put off paying bills. It makes me very anxious and I don't even know why. Time to cast those cares on Him! I will be putting some of your tips to use for sure! xoxo jules

Cynthia S. said...

Great tips! Having my own business forced me to become organized are start pulling my hair out. I chose organization! Blessings!

Emily - Emas Grand Ideas said...

Great organization! And thanks for the reminder to get online and pay my bills. LOL. Have a great day!

Michell Pulliam said...

Hi Meredith!! Such great advice...especially the one about sharing it all with your spouse. That can't be said enough! I can't believe people still leave their bills in their mailboxes anymore. It's sad, but true that no neighborhood is safe enough! Thanks so much for dropping by and linking up...have a lovely week lady!! ;D

Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady said...

These are great for financial organization. I especially like sharing the info with the spouse. I've seen too many lost souls emotionally and financially after a death bc they don't have a clue. You think it's common sense but so many leave the household business on in the hands of their spouse.

I would add on the budgeting tip to include a line item for things like graduations, showers, weddings, and stuff. They seem to come in spurts and can really sneak up on your budget if you aren't careful.

Cindy C said...

Oooh La la...these are great tips! I've been paying bills online for a couple of years and it works out pretty good for me and the fact that I don't have to deal with buying envelopes and all the other stuff is a big deal to me.

Rea T said...

such a good post meredith! you definitely motivated me to make my billings more organized and i just love all your tips and agree with most of it...the one thing that i need to do is to share with The Mr., i have not realized that until I read your post...thank you so much..

huggies♥
rea

Angie Brewer said...

Great tips, I stopped putting checks in the mailbox a few years ago after a crime spree in our area where people were stealing checks out of mailboxes.
I do need to get my "bill area" organized.

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Ugochi said...

Great tips Meredith! Thanks a lot for sharing, have a super blessed day! Love

Angel Richards said...

Nice post! One of the keys to a successful future is to live frugally, and to achieve that, you have to track every penny you spend. It seems easy, but in practice it can be difficult, especially if you’re not organized. You may lose receipts, you forget the payment due dates for your credit card, and so on. Those are really great tips to help you manage your budget and live a financially-organized life.

Angel Richards