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So I am not an organized individual. I have a household with three kids! As I like to tell everyone, my wife and I live in a “controlled chaos” world. But when it comes to my financial situation, there needs to be some organization. If you are having some issues with organizing your financial, maybe these financial tips will help you get on the right path.

Accounts

My wife and I have many accounts. When I say “accounts” I am referring to our bank accounts, credit card accounts, mutual fund accounts, and normal bill accounts. It is very easy to misplace account information if you are not organized.

My wife and I have created a spreadsheet with all of our accounts and passwords. You could save them on a computer as well, however I would recommend encrypting your document. You want to make sure this list is updated (every 6 months).

Some accounts are closed because you paid off the credit card or you changed banks. Keep this in a safe spot and make sure if you have a significant other, that they know about the accounts in case something ever happens to you.

Track you bills

In our household, we track when each of our bills are due. My wife has it down to a science in where she knows exactly when to pay the bills to make sure they are on time.

There are many banks that you can set up an auto pay feature for your accounts. Some banks charge a fee and some do not. We use this feature with our current bank (free of charge) and it makes tracking our bills very easy.

There are many ways to track your bills. Find the solution that works best for you.

Insurance policies

Most people have insurance policies. I have a couple policies that will help my family if something ever happens to me. Again, if you have a significant other, they should know exactly about those policies and how to use them in case of they are needed.

A file cabinet or a safe would work perfectly to keep these important documents. Remember, you took out these policies for peace of mind, so have all your paperwork together so your love one can have ” peace of mind” when the time arrives.

Taxes

In my file cabinet, I keep 7 years of tax returns. Anything beyond 7 years is shredded. You never know when you might get audit and keeping all of your tax information for each year is a good practice.

Conclusion

Hopefully, some of these financial organization tips will help you and your family. Keeping your finances organized will help when need certain information like accounts and bills. Find a system that works best for your needs. This might be just a file divider on the wall for all your bills. Make sure to keep track of your bills so you pay them on time with no late fees.

Policies; like health insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance needs to be placed in safe spot. You want those items available when an emergency situation arises.

Please comment below on some ideas that work for you and your family. Again, Stay positive and pursue your goals!

Fred

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18 Responses

  1. Rodarrick says:

    Bills tracking and insurance policies are the two major areas where I feel that I have a lot of work to do. I think I need to make use of this offer of autopay feature offered by banks. With that, I would not have issues in settling my bills and that is very great to know of. I really want to know about all of these. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Thumbs up to this

  2. Wendy says:

    Hi Fred, I found these financial organization tips very helpful. I actually am very organized and always pay my bills on time. However, my issue is in remembering all of my passwords. It seems like I always type the password wrong and need to have a new password link emailed to me which is a waste of valuable time. Since I can’t seem to trust my memory, your spreadsheet idea is very helpful. I always learn something new from your site. Thank you.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Wendy. We also print out a copy for our safe, just in case a computer fails. Passwords are annoying and I know there are some apps and services to help you keep them. But if I can save some money doing it on my own, I would prefer that route. 

  3. bella says:

    We all need financial organisation in our lives and I’m glad you have simplified it much more easier here. Getting it right in our finances is one of the major things I feel we all need to put into consideration and must use to ensure that we achieve success in our finances. Though I am not too good with my finances but I still ensure that I have control over it as much as I can. This is interesting to know of here especially insurance. I haven’t considered that though. But I guess its high time I did something to that

    • admin says:

      Thanks Bella. Unfortunately we never know when the time comes. I want to make sure my love ones are all taken care of. Thanks for the comment! 

  4. Nuttanee says:

    I can totally relate to the controlled chaos. Our daily life is already busy enough and I always find myself having to deal with unexpected expenses. Having a house and a car come with the expense. I am usually on top of my bills but that being said I need my husband to be on top of it like me so I do not have to worry all the time. I am like your wife, I have a reminder set on my phone so I know when to pay it 🙂 

    So keeping the tax return for 7 years is good enough? I have been saving all of them, if it is safe for them i am going to shred them!

    • admin says:

      It’s a team effort. I know I have taken over the bills so my wife didn’t have to worry about. Then my wife took them over so I could focus on work. Bottom line: we have to do it together. We help hold each other accountable and we both focus on the goals for the family. It’s not easy, but it works. 

      I’ve always been told 7 years is good enough on returns. 

  5. Linda Cooper says:

    Excellent information. Nowadays many do not seem to keep a track of bills, accounts and very importantly, spending. This is a good reminder to those people that keeping a close eye on such matters avoids debts. It is easier to cut back on spending than trying to get out of debt.

    All our bills are paid by direct debit and I keep a close eye on them to ensure the correct payment goes out at the correct time. This is a free service from most banks.

     I also like to to keep a close eye on incoming payments to ensure all runs smoothly. All paperwork is kept in a metal filing box, with all business related paperwork in a filing cabinet in my office.

    Thank you, I will share this post on social media for others to read and consider.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Linda. We pretty much follow your system. We are trying to get out of all the paper. I am tired of the constant mail and trying to do it more online. 

  6. Letsret says:

    I have a filing cabinet where I store the important papers, insurance policies, power of attorney etc.  As for accounts we have a high interest savings that I use for yearly bills such as house taxes, home insurance, vehicle insurance etc. every payday 1/24 of the amount is deposited and the bonus is we earn interest on that money throughout the year.  I use the chequing account for the monthly and day to day expenses. 

    Any payments to the bank ie mortgage or loan payments I have come directly out of the bank, the rest i like to pay myself on-line or by cheque, but mostly on-line for the convenience.

    Once a year I have a burning party lol.  I burn all the taxes older than 7 years and any other paperwork I’ve accumulated and don’t need.

    • admin says:

      I love it! Burning party! I think I will start a new tradition in my household! 

      I am a big believer in paying yourself first. The wife and I have a small account where money is deposited to our accounts on each pay check. It’s small; $50. But it adds up fast since I get paid every two weeks. It’s really are non-guilt account! 

      There is really no limit on each of us with our purchases, but out of respect for each other and the family as a whole; we talk about them first. No permission slip, just a conversation to make sure we are both good with the purchase. 

  7. Antonio says:

    Hi Fred

    Those are some good financial organisation tips, which will save you a lot of heartache in the future. One day we will all die and we want to  have our financial affairs in order, and this means having access to the bank accounts, assurance documents,  utility bills, investments, bonds and other documentation. You will need this information when you are applying for probate, especially when you want to unfreeze accounts or make claims on insurance policies.

    This means having all the details in a place where they can be found and this is where you tops come into play. You need to be safe, as well as secure but still be accessible by love ones. As more bank accounts are online and accessible by mobile apps then it is important to have  the passwords and access codes  in a place where it is safe but easily accessed.

    Do you think that eCard readers will become more important?

    Thanks

    Antonio

    • admin says:

      Agree completely Antonio. I don’t know much about the eCard readers except that they are annoying when I want to be fast in a store! I will have to look into eCards because that is the new way of paying for things these days. Thanks for the input. 

  8. Donny says:

    Thank you Fred. I had never really thought of what would happen to my accounts and some online make money sites that I get income from. That will be lots of cash all thrown into the trash and so I was just sharing information in this article with my room mate, I don’t have a spouse so I’m still stuck on who else I can trust that much to share with my accounts so even though all my accounts have the same password, no one knows that password and I wonder what will happen when something happens to me now.

  9. Renea says:

    This is a great topic, there are so many people that need help with organizing there bills. It’s hard knowing where to look or how to start looking for answers on how to get your finances in order. Adding your life experiences into the article made it even more appealing and trusting that you know what your talking about. By showing your vulnerability shows how real you are and makes the reader want to see what your saying. I Loved all of your tips!! Will be using them myself.

    • Fred Steele says:

      Thanks Renea. We are all in this together. I have sure had my ups and downs when it comes to my finances. Hopefully I can give some of my trials and errors to help others find a better way. 

  10. shirian says:

    In my late twenty,one of the most severe financial losses I encountered was the consequences of the disorganization of finance affairs.I used to pay my bills out of the time because of not tracking my bills properly.This financial organization tips is very helpful for one being more organized in any situation.I liked the idea to keep bank accounts and tax returns in a safe place.I will certainly do that too. Currently I am on the right track and hopefully there would not be any issue.

    Thanks so much

    • Fred Steele says:

      It sounds like your on the right path. Tracking to me is more important than a budget. It is so easy to miss a bill or be late if you don’t have this in order. We have two categories in our house.  1)beginning of the month (day 1-15) 2)end of the month (day 16-30). We build in our grace period as well. The only problem is that if you have a lot of bills at the beginning of the month, you have to make sure to save from the previous month. (example: mortgage)

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