Organize to Simplify - Monthly Financial Checklist

By: Susan W. Miller

"Organize to Simplify" Monthly Financial Checklist
By Susan W. Miller

1. Select a monthly or twice-monthly date for handling all paperwork, and to meet your financial obligations. You may find this works better if you select one day a week and stay on top of things that much better.

2 Gather all supplies and equipment before you sit down to deal with the paperwork. Typical things include pens, file folders, checkbooks, stamps, labels, and calculator.

3. Sort all papers into five piles. These will eventually go into five financial folders:
a. Banking
b. Bills to pay
c. Payment booklets for fixed obligations
d. Sales slips and cash register slips
e. All other statements, such as insurance and investment notices

4. Balance your bank statements with your checkbooks. Follow the directions on the back of the statement if you are not sure how to balance the account.

Put the reconciled statements in a file folder or binder labeled by name of the account.

5. Write checks for the bills and update your expense projection on expenses that vary from month to month. Keeping this information current allows you to have a better idea of what to expect.

6. Create a file folder for each month of the year. Be sure to label each folder with the
month and the year, or by name of the particular account. Collect the bill stubs and sales slips and put in appropriate folder. File in the same drawer as the bank statements.

7. Review insurance and investment notices, noting any changes or transactions. Premiums have a way of increasing over time.

8. Create a separate file folder for the bill stubs, canceled checks and any other documentation needed to support your tax return if you itemize your tax returns. File it anyway if you are not sure. You will gain confidence and knowledge in what to keep and what to throw away.

Remember, organization is being able to find what you want when you want it, get things done, and be in control of your life. If you are going to keep something, give it a home, label it with a common sense heading, and keep all records/folders in one location. Otherwise, feed your trash can.

? 2002, Susan W. MillerFree Web Content, All Rights Reserved

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