It’s a new year, and a new opportunity to get your financial house in order. If you feel overwhelmed by financial clutter, now is the time to get organized.
Ready to begin? Here are five easy ways that you can organize your finances in 2017.
1. Make it a Priority
The first step is to set aside a time to organize your finances. Find a quiet evening, or a weekend afternoon when you know you won’t be distracted. If you feel that it’s going to take six hours, don’t try to find a six-hour block of time. Instead, break it down into more manageable blocks such as three two-hour blocks over the course of a week. That makes it harder to procrastinate and easier to get things done.
2. Plan First
Digging through your finances can feel overwhelming. That’s why your first step should be to create a plan. List all the steps that you need to take, set deadlines and delegate responsibility. The more that you can keep that plan moving, the easier it will become.
Make sure you create a system for organizing your finances. Whether it’s paper folders or computer files, make sure your system is easy to use and make a conscious effort to keep everything in one place.
3. Go Paperless
Want to make sure that you’re depositing all your checks? Want to ensure that your receipts don’t disappear at the end of the year? Your smartphone can help you de-clutter.
Many banks allow you to deposit checks using your smart phone, saving you time and a trip to the bank. It also ensures that the money doesn’t get lost or forgotten.
Smart phones also provide apps that make it easy to take pictures of receipts and store them digitally. This lets you store and organize your receipts with less clutter and confusion.
Trying to remember what bills get paid and when can add stress to your life and late or missed payments can hurt your credit score.
Instead, try to automate as many processes as possible. Regular monthly bills like utilities, mortgage, car payments, phone, and cable can be set up for a monthly auto deduction. Many services will allow you to select your monthly payment date so that you can make sure that your bills come due after you receive your paycheck.
5. Work as a Family
Whenever you start planning, make sure your spouse or partner is part of the conversation. Looking for help? Let your kids be a part of the plan. Older kids can help with simple tasks like sorting and opening envelopes, and your teens will probably be able to figure out data entry and smartphone solutions faster than you can.
Not only will they be helping you, but they’ll gain an understanding of money and finance that will serve them well into the future.
Looking for more help? Schedule a free counseling session today or call us at 800-920-2262.