Are you ready? Well then let’s get started!
I hope you’re energized and ready to start clearing out all of those old documents that you have accumulated over the years. Putting your financial matters in a nice organized manner will give you peace of mind. Did you not feel good when you finally finished your “household” spring cleaning … everything now is where it belongs, the smell of bleach and lemon filling the air of the once cluttered rooms and that sense of relaxation after relieving that big inhale. Now picture that same feeling (minus the smell of bleach and lemon) when it comes to getting your paper work in order. No more asking yourself, “where is that form, I just had it the other day,” or misplacing your child’s field trip form that was supposed to have been signed a week ago. On a serious note though folks, let’s just say you get audited – which means you’re going to have to pull out your tax returns along with all the information that was used to prepare that return – well do you know where it is? Exactly. Wouldn’t you feel a little relieved knowing that if anything like that ever happened that you would be more than ready? Also, with the New Year and the start of Spring you may want to consider getting your finances together maybe start a wealth planning program or just get yourself on a budget. With your paperwork in order it will make the process a whole lot easier.
Now, no one said this is going to be easy but having a checklist and a guide can take a lot of pressure off of having to do it yourself. Think of it as having your own personal assistant. Now just like starting a business you have to start with a business plan. You have to know where to start by knowing what you will need to make this process successful. So to start off, below is a list of things you will need. How cool is that!!
I suggest that you take 4 days to do this 4 step process. But if you think you can get it done in one day go for it. OK, here we go!
Step 1 – Gather ALL of your documents – (including unopened mail, receipts, bills, etc…).
Step 2 – Set up a filing system – click here for a list of folder names that you can choose from depending on what you have. This is where the labels come in handy. Start writing the names on the tabs so you can later put them on the file folders or if you are going to scan just check mark the the folder tab names on the list so you can later entered them into your computer program.
Step 3 – Separate – Now it’s time to get your posted notes out and label them with the following: (1.) File/Scan (2.) Bills To Pay (3.) Review (4.) Shred. Spread the posted notes out and start separating your paperwork into the 4 piles. If you do not know what papers to keep click here for the records retention schedule.
Step 4 – File/Scan – It’s time to grab those labels (tabs) you previous made and start putting them on the filing folders (or start creating digital folders with the names you checked on the list into your computer program). Once that is complete start filing/scanning. Grab the papers in your “file/scan” stack and start separating them into the appropriate tabbed folders or start scanning them into the labeled digital folders in your computer program. Next, grab your “bills to pay” stack and put those in the “Bills to Pay” folder. Now grab your “review” stack and put them in the “Review” folder. After you’ve put the documents in the correct folders it’s time to file them away into a file box or filing cabinet. If you scanned your documents you can now save the files onto your flash drive. Finally, we come to the best part, the “SHRED” pile. No need to explain that one but I’m going to: Shred with your shredder or burn in your fire pit whichever works best for you. Just don’t throw them in the trash without being shredded (the trash bag is only to be used for the papers already shredded). DON’T BE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT.
OK, you did it! [High Five] Now don’t you feel GOOD! I’m so happy for you. This is the first step of getting your finances in order.
Well it’s been great sharing this information with you. Until next time relax and have a wonderful day!