Managing all the elements of your finances can be quite the undertaking! From managing bills to monitoring your investment accounts, you need to remain organized to ensure you keep a proper pulse on what’s happening with your money. Here are a few tips to help you get organized with your finances, just in time for the new school year to start:
- Stick to a Budget: Regularly revisiting your budget can help you remain completely in tune with what you’re actually spending as opposed to in tune with what you think you’re spending. Over the course of a year, you may find that your utility bills fluctuate or your childcare costs change during the summer. Check in with your budget every month and make sure it remains attune with your regular and new expenses.
- Use Technology: If you really want to get in financial organization shape, consider purchasing financial software from a company like mint.com that can help you keep up with all of your accounts. At McCabe & Associates, we allow our clients to track their investment accounts through our secure online account tool, and many other financial institutions offer the same. If you feel comfortable, take advantage of auto-pay offerings whenever you can as well.
- Choose Specific Days for Bill Paying: Depending on your bill cycles, try to choose specific days of each month (the 1st and the 15th for instance) to pay the majority of your bills. When you make bill paying an event, you can sit down, focus, pull up your bank accounts and budget, and file everything away appropriately. This will also help you keep in touch with what’s being charged to your credit card, and any non-recurring bills that are coming in, like medical bills.
- Get an Accordion Binder: Each year, invest in a new accordion binder to keep all of your bills and paperwork for each month. Keep the current year’s and the previous year’s binder in an easily accessible place so you can easily file away new paperwork, and take a look at last year’s for comparison. If you pay bills online or send in checks, you can write the date you paid the bill on the bill directly before you file it away so you can always be sure to pull the appropriate record from your bank statement if the bill comes into question.
- Communicate with Your Significant Other: If you share accounts with a spouse, significant other, or dependent, make sure you remain on the same page. If your husband plans to buy new golf clubs, or if your wife is planning on purchasing a spa getaway for herself and her girlfriends, you could run into a situation where you bounce a check, max out a credit card, or not have enough in your account for the auto-debit that’s coming the next day for your electric bill. Be sure to let each other know of major expenses to ensure everything remains in order.
While there are many other ways you can get financially organized, we feel these are a great place to start. If you’d like more assistance getting your feet on solid ground with your finances, please feel free to reach out to us.