Getting organized is one of the simplest ways to help your budget and reduce stress. It can save you hundreds of dollars a year and hours of time and frustration!
This is something I had to learn the hard way. I eventually realized that I needed a better system and that if I could get my financial papers and bills in order it would save me time and money. Most of all I think it saved my sanity. No more worrying about a bill being late or misplaced.
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5 Easy Steps To Get Organized And Save Money!
1. Organize Your Bills To Avoid Late Fees.
If you organize your bills by when they are due monthly you will be able to pay your bills on time and avoid late fees. You can do this by using a spreadsheet, a financial organizer or keep it simple and use a calendar or planner to write down the day of the month each bill is due. Then you can mark them off as you pay them.
This helped me tremendously when making the budget every month because I could easily see what bills were due and when. This allowed me to plan the budget accordingly so I didn’t run short during the month.
If you are looking for an organizer to help you get started then check out the Mead Organizher Expense Tracker.
It’s a comprehensive financial tracker that will help you keep track of your spending.
There are worksheets for tracking expenses and cash flow, 12 monthly pockets for receipts and bills, Tech Lock rings that secure punched items and you can tuck other items into one of two clear folders.
It has 8.5 x 11 inch page size and you can download additional budgeting pages online. There’s also a current and future year monthly reference page.
2. Have One Place To Keep All Your Bills.
Find one location to keep all your bills. Sort your bills by their due date that way it is easy to see at a glance what bill needs to be paid next. Keep your bills wherever you normally write checks or do your online banking. For me that is at my kitchen desk. I have a basket on my kitchen desk that I place all my bills. You might prefer a study or home office.
For bills that I receive electronically, I print them out and put them with the other bills to pay. You could also have a monthly bill folder in your email if you planned on paying them electronically and did not want to print them out. Just be sure to add them to your spreadsheet or monthly calendar as recommended in step #1.
Harris Interactive reports that 23% of adults say they pay bills late (and incur fees) because they lose them.
3. Set Up A Regular Schedule To Pay Bills.
To stay caught up on your bills you need to find a schedule that works for you. For me, that was a weekly schedule. Every Sunday I would pull the bills due that week and pay them. Paying them can be done by mail, electronically or a combination of both. Whatever works best for you. As soon as they are paid, mark them off your spreadsheet or calendar.
4. Organize Personal Documents.
Keep your most recent bank statements, credit card statements, home, auto, medical and life insurance policies, tax forms and receipts, warranty information and all other important personal finance records you need in one place. Neatly file and label them so they are easy to find.
Once you have it all organized it makes it easy to call and ask for discounts or call and compare policies to try and save money. For example, you can pull your latest auto insurance policy and go online and compare prices or call several agents and ask for quotes. If you do this once a year you can save money.
This step is very important. It saves our family hundreds of dollars every year! We saved $250 last year by switching our homeowner’s insurance to another company and we received better coverage and a lower deductible. It pays to shop around!
5. Organize Your Spending.
Plan your spending. Avoid impulse buys and overspending by planning ahead. Never go shopping without a list and always stick to it. Menu planning around weekly store sales will cut your grocery bill, saving you money.
If you follow these steps you won’t have to worry about missing bill payments due to lack of organization plus you will be able to see any shortfalls and make any adjustments as needed.
Most importantly you will avoid constant money anxiety and become more organized at managing your money!