Thursday, February 7, 2008

Save Time and Money with These Tips for Organizing Your Personal and Financial Records

Surely you easily remember that one time you couldn’t find the receipt for that pricy camera which suddenly stopped working after 3 months. Where did I put that? Or maybe last year’s tax filings or your marriage license? How about the guarantee for the TV?

In our short lives we create and accumulate mass amounts of documents –never ending piles of paper. Unfortunately, they’re never there when we need them.

Organizing your personal documents can save you precious time and money with little effort. Furthermore, having the history available, especially when it comes to bills and expanses can help you learn a lot about your spending habits and also help you with budgeting and managing expenses.

#1 First and foremost you should defiantly keep the documents
Accumulating mass amounts of paper really makes you want to throw it all away even if you know you’ll regret it soon enough. In order to get things properly organized save your documents.

#2 File often and don’t procrastinate
Naturally documents will stack up if they’re not documents often as a routine. By incorporating an hour a week of handling paper you’ll clear the mess up soon enough. Don’t procrastinate! You’ll be happy to see the mess cleared away from sight as well as from mind.

#3 File by subjects and dates
You’ll eventually have to find one documents or another. File by subjects and dates. This is the most logical method of filing. Creating appropriate filing space in advance and don’t group subjects together. The papers will come, don’t worry. Use different colors for different subjects to help you remember.


#4 File “to do” documents in a separate folder
We always have documents which need follow-up. Keep these in a different folder and move them to their place once the task is done. A desk often gets covered by lists and bills with no reason what so ever creating an eyesore.

#5 Have and incoming and outgoing tray
I know its office like but there’s no other way. Stack documents for filing in the incoming tray and completed forms, mail or what not in the outgoing tray. Remember, these should be handled once a week.

#6 Get a scanner with a feeder and upload everything
There’s no better place to keep your records. Organize your folders and records on your computer for easy sorting and retrieval. Give detailed names to the files and you’ll find them easily and quickly. Less efficient is the need to keep paper records as not everyone moved to the 21st century with the rest of us.


#7 Get a shredder
Shred unneeded documents. It’s efficient and it’s wise. Your personal records shouldn’t be traveling around.

#8 Sort to short and long-term – Not a personal favorite of mine
You don’t have to keep everything forever. However, I don’t see the harm in that other than a couple extra folders. You just might throw away something you wish you hadn’t. I still have to remind this one in case you’re extra careful.

Post Sponsor: The Thrifty Scot offers the latest news and advice on credit cards. Visit today to find out more


Images by MGshelton, niKaraguaXiL

4 comments:

Colonel Cash said...

Ugh, filing! This is one of those necessary evils, isn't it? The important thing about filing is being able to find it after filing it away! I have file to with being able to get it again in mind, something that's easier said than done for me! I don't know where I'd be without google desktop search!

Dorian Wales said...

Colonel, I most certainly agree. A more interesting notion is not to file at all and let Google desktop do the job of finding everything. But there is also an aesthetic aspect which I, sadly, cannot ignore.

Kathy said...

This is a great article, paper is my weakness. I have heard the scanner theory but never truly understood it.

Frugal Canadian Living said...

Scanner are great for those receipts that you collect just for personal reference. Eg Grocery. Paper receipts are still important. They are your proof of purchase and might need them for warranty or returns.