Organizing your Finances the Easy Way

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Posted on 10/27/2008

Filing receipts, balancing the check book and managing bills got you overwhelmed? Unorganized finances can lead to late bills, overdrawn bank accounts and messed up budgets. By getting your finances organized you can eliminate credit card chaos and take the stress out of money. Here are a few easy tips to organize your finances the easy way.

Get Some Help
Getting help doesn’t have to mean spending lots of money on a personal accountant or financial advisor. Check out free online tools like Wesabe or Mint (http://www.mint.com/). Every system is a little different so choose one that is easy to use and fits your needs. These tools will help you track your expenses so you know exactly where your money is going.

Eliminate Paper
Feeling guilty about that forest you are depleting? Do something about it and request e-bills. You’ll instantly feel more organized because your desk won’t be covered in stacks of paper.

Give your Budget a Home
Buy a binder and a three-ring punch. Start filing your bills, receipts and statements at least once a week. If you prefer, try scanning your documents and paperwork so they’re safely saved on your home computer. Either way, get in the practice of putting all that paper in its proper place.

Pay Bills Online
These days most financial institutions offer an online bill paying system. Take advantage of this tool. It will help you stop the constant flow of paper, reduce the amount of checks you write and ensure bills are paid on time. You’ll be notified electronically when bills are due rather than having to keep track of more paper.

Close Accounts
When was the last time you used that credit card for Barney’s Fine Furnishings? If your collection of plastic rivals your collection of underwear, it’s time to close some of those accounts. It will mean fewer accounts to track and less to organize.

By Alison Storm

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