‘(A) process of designing overall systems that facilitate and support achievement of business and personal financial goals.’ According to Wikipedia
Having organization in your life mightn’t be your top priority but if you are looking for ways to improve your financial systems, knowing where your bills are for payment and how to find important documentation at short notice is crucial.
Normally one of two scenarios that seem to happen with paperwork.
- Your keep everything, including the leaflets and the envelope and either the whole lot ends up in a place depending on where you are in the house, depends where it is left.
- You don’t want any reminders of the paperwork and you throw away important documentation because you don’t want people to think you are a hoarder.
There are those people who seem to mix these up, but seldom are people in control of the financial paperwork that comes into their home.
The happy medium with financial paperwork organization
Getting the happy medium where you are happy that you have dealt with the paperwork entering your home, even filling the right pieces, and throwing away the rubbish can become an organizational nightmare unless you have a system in place.
The important steps to having an organized system:
- Reading the information, understanding what the letter or bill is requiring of you.
- You need to decide on the action required, if it is a bill that requires payment then have a place ready; I store mine in my diary on the appropriate payment date, or a letter that requires action, again stored in my diary. If it is something important that I need to keep, I file immediately; rubbish goes in my shredder ready for the paper blocks for the fire.
- Take action and put the item in the right place.
Storing of financial information
The storing of financial information isn’t that difficult. Don’t hide your files in places that are difficult to access, this will make filing awkward and it won’t be a task that you will want to do regularly.
Keep the system that you use easy, if it becomes too complicated then you will not want to continue. Remember if you use ring binders, you will need to ensure that you have a hole punch at hand; sometimes making an extra step in organizing can have a negative impact on completing the task in hand.
A simple filing cabinet can work wonders and knowing how long you need to keep an item can mean putting one item in and pulling out the oldest bill or statement that you no longer need.
Labelling is essential in any system; it allows you to see the information that the file holds clearly, you can even colour code your files or labels to make finding like information easier. However, this isn’t essential for the paperwork organization, it is just something to make finding the file you are looking for, easier.
Having a filing system that holds the right information but is split into different sections, ensures that items are not lost in amongst other items. Nevertheless, it is important that you are not breaking down the categories too much and ending up with a single sheet of paper in five different files when one file with a descriptive title would save money and space.
Therefore, if you have any form of financial paperwork coming into your home it is important that you are able to take charge, throw away the rubbish and either store the bill for payment or file the item away before it starts to clutter up your home.