It’s April! Flowers sprouting, birds singing, and… taxes. Typically a dreaded affair, this is frequently when we discover exactly where we may be lacking in personal and financial organization. Often this creates a vicious cycle – we realize we aren’t organized, we think it’s too late to start, we fight and struggle our way through getting taxes done, and then we forget about the whole thing until next year, when we’re right back where we started.
So here’s the first – and most important tip – it’s never, ever too late to get started. The perfect time to get organized is always right now!
Not sure where to start? With so much being handled electronically these days, from emailed receipts to filing taxes online, it can be hard to keep track of everything. In fact, some might say that without good systems in place, it’s nearly impossible. Whether you are trying to keep your family’s finances in order or you own your own business, it’s vital that you have systems in place to manage it all.
These few steps are quick and easy to implement, and they can have a huge return on investment:
- Make a Dedicated Inbox on Your Desk: Yup, step one is that simple. Just get a box, folder, or any kind of container that works for you and set it on your desk. So often we end up with receipts or paperwork that we know will need to be used – for taxes, bills, invoices, and more – just piled up and forgotten. This step simply creates a dedicated space to make sure that all of those things end up in one spot.
- Make a Dedicated Folder in Your Email: This is the same as the first step, except it’s a virtual version. Create a folder in your email called “Finances”. And every time you get an email, invoice, or receipt that needs to be filed, simply put it in this dedicated folder and forget it (until the next step, anyway).
- Make a Date with Your Finances: Schedule just 15 minutes every week to check in with all of your finances. Use this time to file receipts, pay bills, send invoices, and empty your Inbox from step one. Go through everything in your email’s Finance folder and print anything that needs to be filed as well.
- Create Files as Needed: In the previous step, you may come across several items that don’t have an official place yet, particularly as you begin implementing this system. No problem! Each time this happens, simply create a new file. It’s always good to have a package of new files handy so that you can grab them as needed.
If you still feel overwhelmed, give us a call any time. Organizing and creating systems is what we do. Additionally, as a Daily Money Manager, we are a member of the AADMM (American Association of Daily Money Managers). We’d be more than happy to assist you with all of your record keeping, bill paying, financial organization, and more! 301-787-4010