Organizing Clutter in your Financial Life

Clutter is a major part of many the lives of many individuals.  Besides obtaining clutter of possessions, you may also obtain clutter of financial records.   Even if you live on a budget you may still have clutter of financial records.

Reduce the clutter

Many financial institutions and other businesses offer electronic copies of your statements and bills that you can receive by email. Along with getting electronic copies of your statements you can in many cases subscribe to online payments which are automatically deducted from your bank account on a certain date.  Some businesses that offer online statements may include your credit cards, utilities and others.  Banks also keep these copies of your bank statements so you may not need to keep paper copies of all of your monthly statements.

If you do use online bill payment be sure to check your bank statements to make sure there are no errors on it.  Also, be sure to mark down the due dates of all of the bills so you have adequate funds in your account to cover them.

If you have hard copies of statements that you should keep you can scan them to save on your computer.  You can purchase a personal scanner for around $100.  If you don’t have a scanner, some financial advisors and accountants may scan documents for clients at no charge.  Also, some copy centers may scan documents for a small fee.

Keep it Organized

If you choose not to use digital ways to save your documents one easy way to keep track of statements and receipts is to use an accordion folder.  Label each pocket for each spending category you have.  Another recommendation is to have another file with all of the documents you will need to file your annual tax returns.  This may include your paycheck stubs and any statements for items you are planning to itemize for deductions.

What To Keep

You may be able to shred some of your monthly statements once they are paid.  Statements such as your utility bills may not be needed to be kept.  Some statements can be shredded once they are verified as being paid on your bank statement. 

Maintain It

Just as weekly house cleaning helps maintain clutter in your home, weekly financial maintenance will do the same for clutter in your financial life.  Some people sit down once a week to plan their budget or other planning for the week, consider adding maintenance of your financial records to this planning time.

Once you get a plan set up to maintain financial clutter it will be easier to keep your financial life in control.