What with everything that’s happening in the world right now, it’s quite possibly a good time to organise your finances. So many people are facing financial situations that are new to them, that might be uncomfortable, scary, and eye-opening. Whether you’re asking your bank for a deferred loan, or finding yourself contemplating the queue at centrelink, if your finances and your paperwork aren’t in order, then you might the whole situation even more stressful. So take charge, and get on top of it and organise your finances. You’ve probably been meaning to do it for months anyway, right?
So Is your financial paperwork a jumbled mess? If you answered “yes,” you’re most certainly not alone. The good news is that there are many simple things you can do to better organise your bank statements, receipts and even your bookkeeping-related paraphernalia. Continue reading to learn more. The task is probably easier than you think.
Think about Going Electronic
If you haven’t already done so, one of the first thing to do on your quest to get organised is to consider going electronic. Once you perform the initial set-up and get the hang of it, it’s so much faster than organising the “old-fashioned” way. Another great perk is the fact that organising your financial records electronically takes up a lot less space and you’ll be helping to save the planet by saving all those trees. The vast majority of banks, credit card companies, utility providers and other types of businesses already give consumers the option to receive their statements and bills electronically. If you’re not already doing this, now is the time to sign up. It’s generally quite fast, convenient and free to do. Some providers even offer small financial incentives to going electronic, so you might even save a bit of money at the same time.
When you aren’t given that option, there is a simple solution. Purchase an inexpensive scanner, or download an app for your mobile phone which will then allow you to scan your printed bills and receipts into whatever software program you’re using. Then you have a soft copy of all your paperwork ready for filing.
Choosing a Filing System
Whether you want to go electronic or not, you need to come up with a basic filing system that’s easy for you to stick long term to and not get frustrated with. This works best when you co-ordinate your filing efforts with a calendar or organiser.
There are several ways to set up a filing system. The choice you make is up to you. These methods include:
- Month-to-month (a good choice for those who don’t have a lot of credit card payments and other recurring bills)
- Colour coded (if you’re more of a visual person, colour-coded files are probably for you and you can do this electronically too these days)
- Subject or category (use broad categories such as “credit cards” and “utility bills,” or create a separate file category for each company you pay)
If you have the time and inclination, it’s better to open bills and other financial correspondence as soon as you receive it. Taking the time to file documents away, during the same session, makes things even more streamlined. The longer you leave it to pile up, the more overwhelming it gets.
The last thing you want is to wait several weeks to file things, only to spend hours transferring receipts and other documents from a huge pile on your desk or the proverbial shoebox to their (newly-appointed) proper location.
Now that you have some ideas in regard to organising your finances, you’re on the road to a tidier filing cabinet or inbox. Better yet, you can say goodbye to the frustration associated with digging through piles of documents to locate the specific financial information you need. You’ll have it all at your fingertips in moments.
Depending on your current state of “disorganisation”, sorting things out may take some time. But, that’s okay. Take it step by step. With a bit of due diligence, your financial records will be in tip-top shape before you know it. Remember, it’s not how fast you get everything done. The important thing is, you’ll finally be able to easily find a receipt or bank statement right when you need it.
So why not take some of the time that we all seem to have a little bit more of at the moment, and put it to good use and organise your finances. You’ll find that once this health crisis is all over, you’ll be ready to go, and your accountant and mortgage broker will love you for being so super organised.