Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to get more organized? A great place to start is on your personal finances. By getting your bills and statements in order, you’ll be less likely to miss payment deadlines, accrue late fees and feel overwhelmed by financial tasks.
If you’re ready to get your financial life organized, try these simple tips:
- Open the Mail Every Day
Doing this one simple task each day will help you stay organized and keep it from becoming an overwhelming chore. Letting mail pile up day after day means that you are more likely to lose track of important bills, statements and other financial documents. If daily sorting doesn’t seem doable, set aside a couple of night each week to sort and file. Establish a filing system that allows you to quickly and easily sort your financial documents.
- Go Paperless
Going through the mail daily will seem less daunting if there’s less of it. Go through all the bills and statements you’re still receiving on paper and contact those companies about opting for paperless billing. This will reduce the time you have to spend opening mail, you can’t lose or misplace them, and it’s a great move for the environment. Go here to sign up for Marion County Bank eStatements and start the de-clutter!
- Set up a Bill Payment system
Create a system to pay your bills either online or offline.
Take steps to automate as many payments as possible or sign up to use an automatic bill payment service. Marion County Bank’s bill pay services are free to use and can make paying bills easy and efficient! Current Internet Bank customers can sign up for Bill Pay through their Internet Bank account. However, this isn’t a completely “hands off” method. You’ll need to ensure your bank accounts continually have enough funding to cover all automatic withdrawals. Also, be aware of additional fees for rush or overnight payments.
If you prefer to handle all bill payments yourself, set aside a specific day and time weekly or monthly that’s dedicated to paying bills. A structured schedule will help prevent missing due dates. Remember to allow time for mail delivery, if necessary.
- Shred Regularly
Regularly sorting through financial documents and shredding old documents will go a long way in cutting the clutter. As a general guideline, things you should keep include tax records, legal documents and warranties. Things to shred include old credit card and loan offers, pay stubs once you’ve received your W-2’s and anything else you can easily access on online.
- Evaluate and Eliminate
Review all your bank accounts, credit cards, insurance and other financial concerns to ensure they are meeting your current needs. Review your checking account and credit card statements for all automatic payments such as gym memberships and subscription renewals and cancel any you’re not using. Also review cell phone and internet plans, cable and home streaming subscriptions to see if you’re getting the best deal. Get rid of anything that no longer makes sense for your current lifestyle and consolidate what you can.