Money and finances mean many things to people. Depending on our background, we may have experienced scarcity or prosperity. We may view money as “to be spread around like manure” (thank you Hello Dolly!) or for only the most important of needs. Organizing your money means getting a big picture perspective, having tools set up and creating routines that work for you. Getting organized about money is the first step for use, balance, and comfort.
The Power of One
As in all organizing, you want to be able to find what you have! Having just one checking account is the way to know how and where you are spending it! Having one credit card not only simplifies paying the bill during the month, it also makes you most aware of where your money is going. If you are a small business owner, you should also have one credit card and one checking account for your company. Simplifying our connection to money can make all the difference.
Write It Down
Writing down how and where you spend money is an enlightening experience! Just like those food logs that scare us into a lifestyle diet change, we can do the same for money. Keep a log of EACH item you purchase in a month. Not only will you realistically know what things cost to create a realistic budget, you will also know just how many times you are using money for “wants” rather than “needs”.
Ledgers can make the difference for us in keeping track of and being accountable about our funds. Use your check register all the time to record checks and debit card transactions as these occur. For bill paying, keep a ledger to record your payments to utilities, credit cards and other monthly expenses. This way you see what each bill is each month, compare the expenses of the bill each month, and be sure you paid it each month. Seeing it on paper makes money not only a currency traded, but an effective way to see what are we really about. You can also use Quicken to record the payments to see annually what your expenses are and to help balance your checking account each month.
Money and Taxes
Getting organized for tax time can be simpler. Through out the year, donations and expenses are occurring related to taxes. 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.
You hear it all the time: “pay yourself first!” Set up an automatic payment from you to your savings account. It is the most painless way to get ahead on your savings.
Having trouble paying your bills on time? Set up automated payments to get this done timely. You will still need to keep up to date on what is being paid and to whom, but the process can make a difference in getting the job done. Finish bill paying by filing all receipts into an easy access file or notebook.
Getting Organized with Your Money
Organization with your money is the first step to realizing your financial goals. Do you want to purchase a home, send your kids to college or retire early? Having a working knowledge of your finances makes these goals attainable. Be empowered by organizing your money with systems and routines that work for you. This all takes time, our most valuable resource, however organizing your money is well worth the investment.
Apps that help
- Your Bank app
- MoneyMunk budget worksheet
- OurGroceries app (save money at the grocery store with a list)
- RedLaser (for price comparison)
- CardStar (for loyalty cards)
What ways are you getting organized with your finances?
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