Blog: Can We Have Some Order Here?
15-Minute Organizing Ideas -- Managing Your Money
One of the biggest roadblocks my clients face in trying to get (and keep) their finances in order is scheduling -- finding the time to pay the bills, update the checkbook, reconcile the statements, and plug the money leaks. Big blocks of time are hard to find, so you're better off breaking your financial organizing into tasks that can be completed in 15 minutes or less. Think that's impossible? Let me show you how it's done!
A Faster Way To Organize Your Finances
Did you know that the average American spends more time planning for his next vacation than his retirement? Most folks are more concerned with how much they're getting back in a tax refund than the money they're losing each month on late fees and account errors (it saddens and amuses me when someone who shells out hundreds of dollars a year in completely preventable interest payments and overage charges bitches about the IRS robbing him blind!) It's not that people don't care about day-to-day bookkeeping -- they just let it pile up, then get overwhelmed looking at that stack of receipts and bank statements. But tackling your bookkeeping a bite at a time is a lot less painful than trying to swallow the entire month's finances at once.
See how easy that was?
- lay all of your credit cards on a copier and make front / back reproductions to go in your fire safe
- balance your checkbook (and that means down to the penny!)
- move last year's bills and statements into archives from your active file system
- clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper or search for coupons online
- organize your coupons into categories in a portable coupon wallet
- review the grocery circulars for the best bargains and plan your shopping list accordingly
- pay your bills, either online or by mailing in a check
- sign up for online banking to cut down the mail you receive
- enroll in automatic bill-pay to avoid late fees
- reconcile your credit card statement for the past month
- review your bank statement for errors
- set up an electronic bookkeeping system like Quicken or Quickbooks on your computer
- download the last month's transactions into your bookkeeping system
- download the last month's account statements and save them on your hard drive
- input a week's worth of income and expenses in your bookkeeping system
- call your service providers and vendors to change your billing date to a consistent time each month
- make a list of the fees you pay on your current accounts, and mark the ones that can be eliminated
- sort through your wallet and clean out your weekly receipts
- sign up for "daily deal" websites like Groupon and Living Social
- create a spreadsheet for keeping track of coupon and gift certificate expiration dates
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posted on: 11/24/2011 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips
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Can We Have Some Order Here?
by Ramona Creel
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I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!
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