There is no better time to start fresh and get organized than the beginning of a new year. So, ACCC wants to help you celebrate National Get Organized Month with some pointers about organizing your finances.
National Get Organized Month: Organizing Tips
Start With the Piles of Paper
Over the last year, you may have collected numerous utility bills, bank statements, medical bills and much more. Your financial goals for 2017 can range from getting rid of debt to finally buying your dream home. Depending on your goal, you may still need some of the paperwork from the previous year. However, make sure you shred the unnecessary piles of paper. Most often banks or even the town conducts shredding events. Never throw out your bills or bank statements in the trash or face becoming an easy target for identity thieves.
Save the Essentials
There are some documents that you need to keep with you for the long haul. Keep these and other important documents in a locked, fireproof and waterproof box. These items include:
- Tax returns and year-end investment statements.
- Active deeds and policies, such as your auto insurance policy and deed of sale for your car.
- Receipts and photos of big-ticket items to support any future insurance claims.
Update and Consolidate
National Get Organized Month is all about getting things in order. When you organize and clean up your finances, updating and consolidating accounts can save you money and legal headaches down the line. Try a few of these organizational tactics:
- Consolidate financial accounts. For example, close the checking account you don’t use, and move funds from your old 401k to your current retirement account.
- Consolidate credit cards. Choose the lowest interest rates and best loyalty benefits. However, before you shift money among cards, check to see if there are balance-transfer fees or any other fees that are applicable.
- Update beneficiaries on insurance policies and retirement accounts.
- Gather new quotes for car, home, and life insurance and adjust coverage levels if needed.
- Check your mortgage rates and see if it makes sense to refinance.
- Check your credit at Annualcreditreport.com. Keeping your credit intact helps in more ways than one.
- Check fees on phone, cable, and other bills to see if you are paying for services you don’t use.
Re-organize Your Budget
Last but not least, re-organize your budget. With the new year increments, bonuses or added expenses your incoming and outgoing expenses might change. So rework your budget, create new goals and set all your records straight. Your budget is the foundation of your personal finances. Hence, setting the record straight with the budget is an essential part of getting organized.