Organization is a hot topic these days with the New Year being here and all. I’ve been inspired by different blogs to organize my cleaning supplies, my toys…even my socks. One thing that I really need to organize is our money!
I’ll be honest and tell you upfront that we are mostly organized when it comes to basic money stuff. Our bills are done through bill pay online and I track our accounts in a spreadsheet. But, there is always room for improvement, right? So, let’s talk about some ways to make money management a little simpler and organized.
Most banks offer a functionality to set up recurring payments. For us, the ability to set up recurring payments for most of our stuff is probably the most helpful thing! Since we are mostly paperless billing, the idea of setting up recurring payments that will go out automatically each and every month really helps me sleep better at night. Of course, that only works for things that are the same each and every month (i.e. auto insurance, our “payments” to savings, etc.).
Ok, so some bills, even though they may come monthly, aren’t always the same amount.
Think credit cards, power bills, etc.
For the more dynamic items like these, our bank website will actually set up the payment when the bill is sent to their electronic system (they call it e-billing). It totally removes me from the equation!
I don’t carry a checkbook like in the “ole” days but rely on my debit card instead. It is pretty easy to lose track of what is going out fast if you don’t have a good system in place!
Now, I’m all old school about tracking and do it in an excel spreadsheet. It shows what I have spent plus what all of our anticipated bills for the next three months and tracks the balance accordingly. Of course, there are a ton of different options out there that will do this too such as Microsoft Money, Quicken, and Mint.com.
The final part of this whole money scheme is paper. Now, as I mentioned, most of our things are paperless but we still get statements. Right now, we keep two separate filing systems: paper and paperless. I hope for that all to change this year with the addition of a scanner into our house. With the scanner, I can simply scan the paper bills that come in and add them to our filing system that exists on our computer. It will save a ton of space in our filing cabinets and also eliminate a dual system.
If you choose to still go the paper route, I suggest getting a file cabinet. When we were filing all of our bills in paper form, we had a file cabinet with hanging folders labeled for each umbrella topic such as utilities, housing expenses, cars, etc. Then, within those hanging folders, we put individual folders for each type of bill such as power, gas, home owners insurance, etc.
Ok, so tell me how you are organizing the money side of life? Do you still do paper billing? Write a check each month?
I am participating in a Bucks2Blog campaign for Recurring Billing Software and was compensated. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
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