Week 3 in our February Family Finance Series is all about Record Keeping. Part of our year long GO MOM!® Organizing Tips Series, the focus is to help you live like you are moving. Why? Because when you are moving, you are laser focused in making sure everything is taken care of and when it comes to family finance, we can all use a dose of detail management. This week is about record keeping and here are my tips to make sure your record keeping system is top notch no matter if its electronic or paper because the reality is, there is always a bit of paper involved.
Set up a basic financial filing system.
When it comes to record keeping and bills, I’ve shared before that I use a very simple system that is labeled PAY 1-15, PAY 16-31, and I also have a folder labeled TAKE ACTION. This one helps with any items I need to take action on such as call on a bill to clarify, cancel a magazine subscription account, or simply something you need to do. This covers the basics on how to organized that paperwork when it comes in but the question is what do you do with the rest of it? What kind of record keeping do you need once you’ve actually paid those bills?
- Keep the filing categories simple. Check out Dummies.com for a very broad and simple reference list on creating files for your financial records. I love this because it makes it easy to know where to put what and keeps me on track. I actually prefer less files holding more information because if I have too many files I go into detail overdrive and that gets me stressed out. I use a simple systems of monthly folders January through December for all bills paid or dealt with and file them at the end of the year ~ you can watch this video to see why. So consider broad filing categories to get you started.
- Refer to your GO MOM!® Organized Budget form. Your budget is a great place to identify what labels you might choose when setting up those files in your record keeping system.
Having intuitively labeled files close by makes all the difference in helping make sure you use the record keeping system you’ve put into place.
Know what to shred.
To answer that nagging record keeping question “How long should I keep my financial papers?” you just need a handy list to remind you. The guide that I use for shredding is a great document from DaveRamsey.com. I keep this handy in my budget planner and keep it handy with my PAID files. This helps me know what I need to keep track of and each year when it comes time for tax season and getting that ready in February, I can go through an make sure I’m keeping what I need and shredding what I don’t. Good record keeping doesn’t mean keeping things forever. Its about making sure you have the documents you need filed in a logical location for use, reference, or simply because you need to keep it long term.
Monitor and secure your personal information.
I was fortunate to do a Brand Ambassadorship with Identity Guard and through that project, have loved having the security knowing that when it comes to record keeping and my personal identity, its all safe and sound. I”m a big fan of using this kind of service to know that our records are being watched and protected. Its really that simple.
There are some great record keeping tools available online to help you further and these are just a few ideas from what we have found works well at the Gold house and here at GO MOM!®. We’ve got a great Pinterest Board with all kinds of Family Finance Tips based on this series, other videos we’ve done, and tips from around the web. We’d love to see you stop by and take a look. And I’d love to know ~
How do you manage your family financial records from filing to shredding to protecting your personal identity?
What’s most important to you?
One more week to go ~ we are almost done! I hope your family finance is just getting all kinds of organized!
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ see you next time!