Financial records are notorious for being messy. Bills, paycheck stubs, tax returns and bank statements have a way of getting tucked into random places. Luckily, there are a few pretty painless ways to organize your important documents in order to save time at tax time and manage recordkeeping costs.
Put all your financial records in one dedicated spot
To ensure that bills are paid on time, bank statements are reconciled and important documents are properly filed, set aside a specific location in your home for financial tasks. It may be a place where you keep a computer or filing cabinets. Once that area’s set aside, pick a time each week to pay bills, enter financial information into check registers and organize documents. Make sure all bank accounts are reconciled monthly.
Organize in a way that makes sense to you
Many people use a computer program to track everyday spending and bank accounts. Others use a pencil and paper. The key is to use whatever system makes sense to you and helps you maintain your finances with a reasonable amount of effort. That way a report can be generated at the end of the year that summarizes all income received and expenses paid. These reports then have to reconcile to the actual bank records where the cash is being maintained.
Protect the important stuff
Don’t leave your only copies of wills, tax returns, stock certificates or emergency contacts in a pile on the desk. Such documents should be put in a safe deposit box or home safe. Ask your attorney or financial advisor to store the signed copy of your will in a secure location.
Not sure about what records you need to organize? Call us – we can help.
Tags: financial records
Written by: Doug Rodrigues