In order to organize your life,
and save for the future, begin by organizing yourself financially.
Financial organization is a cornerstone of a healthy financial life. At the basic level, financial organization saves time and money because it aids in paying bills on time, finding needed documents during tax season, providing proof of payment, disputing credit cards or billing errors, and avoiding the stress of dealing with piles of unorganized bills and paperwork.
- Prepare a budget
- Prioritize your expenses by categorizing them as fixed (rent, electric, utilities etc.) necessary (food, insurance etc.) and discretionary (eating out, vacations etc.). Be truthful about what is necessary versus what is luxury.
- Follow your budget
- Pay all the fixed and necessary expenses, put money aside for emergency or retirement then save for those luxuries.
- Keep all invoices and statements.
- Review them before you pay them, again ask if these are necessary.
- Review and organize, if you are not paying attention there could be money drawn from your account unbeknownst to you. Remember the membership fee for the gym that you no longer go to.
- Keep only two credit cards.
- To control your credit card balances, your monthly payments should be greater than the interest charged on your balance, interest charges are usually greater than the minimum payment required.
- Have one for everyday use, and another for extreme emergencies only.
- Investment planning
- There are common investor accounts which you may or may not have. Keep policies, statements, and other important paperwork for these accounts accessible to help you and your advisor develop an investment strategy.
- Credit and Debt planning
- Debt is often a significant part of an overall financial picture. Statements for loans will help you get a handle on your level of debt, interest rate of that debt, and loan terms on these kinds of revolving and installment credit debt.
- Retirement planning
- Retirement is the largest financial goal for most investors. As such, its very important to keep track of all retirement accounts, including 401(k)s from current and previous jobs, traditional and Roth IRAs, and other accounts such as 457 plans.
- Insurance Planning
- Have your life and disability policy available for easy access. Review them to guarantee they satisfy your current needs.
- Estate Planning
- Have your lawyer work with your Financial Advisor and CPA to prepare your will.
- Life Planning
- Work with your Financial Advisor to properly plan for your long term care needs.