Recently I began to tackle a project that I had been thinking about for months: re-organize and clean my home office.
It needed to be done because it was no longer a good working space. Since I work from home, this was an essential project.
I am very organized person so I tend to have everything in folders and binders, but even for me you can easily accumulate more than you need over time.
But with the summer just starting I found myself with a little time to finally tackle it. So a couple of weeks ago I spent around 4 hours just getting rid of old documents and other items that were not longer needed.
I also changed the location of my printer and my filing cabinets (optimizing space) and made some room for books that were just in a pile in a corner. Finally, I bought a new and much needed wireless keyboard.
I ended up with a much better work space. I have some more cleaning up to do, but finishing at least the first part of that project gave me a great sense of control and peace.
It also put me in a better frame of mind to work.
Is it Time to Declutter your Finances?
When we talk about managing our personal finances, clutter can also become a part of the experience.
It is possible that you have not taken a hard look about what you are doing to manage your money in a while. It is possible that this neglect has made things more complicated and perhaps less pleasant.
And you are not in a good frame of mind to work on your finances, you progress can be hindered.
With that in mind, I want to give you a few tips that I have picked up over the years to organize and operate our financial management system.
We are 15 years into the 21st century and we are in the midst of the Information Age. We can use this to our advantage.
- Go from paper to online/e-mail delivery.
- If you are adept at using a computer and the internet, this is a great option to eliminate paper clutter in your house.
- Most service providers give you this option. Of all our monthly bills only one comes to the house via regular mail and that’s because the service provider does not offer the electronic option. Everything else comes to us electronically.
- Use financial management software to manage your bills and track your expenses.
- Set monthly reminders of when bills are due. It is easy if you have a busy schedule, to forget when every bill is due. Perhaps you are used to just waiting for that bill to be delivered in the mail. Take control and set some reminders for yourself.
- Plan when bills are going to be paid. You probably already do this in your head. For each pay cycle, you know which bills get paid. In my case, I get paid twice a month. With the 1st pay check we cover the mortgage, the cable/online bill, and our cell phones. With the 2nd pay check we cover utilities and auto insurance.
- I have setup our money tracking software with those dates as monthly reminders to make sure that payment goes out on time.
- By using software you can easily produce are report of you are tracking against your budget for the month.
In this Information Age, we can also take advantage of online banking. Most banks and credit unions offer this option. Here is a few of the things you can do:
- Always have access your accounts online and keep track of when payments and deposits are processed.
- Get your monthly statements online and easily reconcile them.
- Pay your bills via your bank and avoid delays associated with regular mail. You can also set some recurring bills to be automatically paid for you every month.
- Easily transfer money between your accounts.
- Most banks and credit unions also offer applications (Apps) for your smart phone so you can do everything you normally would do on your computer via your phone.
Stay in Control
One of the keys to winning with your finances is gaining control over what’s happening to your money.
You can have more influence in the outcome of your finances if you stay on top of them.
I have shared some of the tips that have helped me stay ahead of the game.
I hope they help you stay ahead of your financial management game.
Question: What steps could you take today to declutter your finances?