Financial Record Keeping
Save yourself from stress by getting your financial documentation organized today.
This process is simple. Keep your documentation safe, and know what is due and when. You just got your first bill, now what? Pay it! Can’t pay/don’t want to pay immediately? Put it on your calendar. Note the due dates and be sure to pay on time. Use a to-do list or a phone reminder to make sure you make your payment.
Easy idea: Most bills can be received via E-mail. Leave the e-mail marked as new until the bill has been paid. Every single time you check your E-mail you will be reminded to pay you bill.
Now onto keeping organized:
What you need:
- Filing box (Preferably fire-safe), file folders, and a secure location
Optional to make things much simpler:
- Computer, Cell phone camera, scanner, and back up storage media
What goes in the box?
- Identity documents: Keeps life’s most important documents safe! These would include your social security card, birth certificate, and passport.
- Medical documentation: Test results, and medical history. Don’t forget your loved one’s and pet documentation too!
- Student records: This would include transcripts, loan documentation, and eventually your paper degree.
- Loan and credit card agreements and documentation
- Deeds: Keep your deed to the house, your rental agreement, and your car title
- Receipts: Large purchases and purchases with warranties
- Tax documentation
- Bank and bill statements: Helpful to have in case of errors. Write your payment confirmation number and bill pay date directly on the bill after it has been paid.
- Pictures of items you own: What good is renters insurance if you can’t prove what you had?
Alternatively, most paper items that you are saving can be saved to your computer to cut down on paper clutter. Just make sure to backup your computer regularly and keep a backup hard drive safe in your fire box! If you are keeping more sensitive documents, make sure that your backup is encrypted.
These simple steps will save you a lot of trouble in the future, by making sure that you have quick access to all of life’s most important documentation.