I LOVE anything and everything organized. It’s always been something I’ve done since I was a little girl. My dad has a video of me, when I was probably 9 or 10 yrs. old, cleaning and organizing the bedrooms in the house and LOVING it. What a dork! I also made millions of to-do lists to plan my day. Now that I’m a mom who works inside the house, I feel completely UNorganized! I’m really seeing the benefit of staying organized and how it saves money and time.
For example, I think I’ve lost my iPod Shuffle three times now and had to buy a new one. I know one day I’ll find them somewhere in the house, which is really frustrating. I also can’t find one of my shin guards for soccer, so now I have to go buy new ones. Needless to say, being organized saves money. I’m trying to do some major spring cleaning and organizing, hence the fewer posts lately.
As far as budgeting goes, being organized also REALLY helps save money because you know where all your money is going and when to pay bills! I know most people have automatic withdrawal for monthly bills, but my husband still likes to receive the bill online or in the mail before we pay it. Even if you have automatic withdrawal, you still might have a couple of bills that need to be paid manually online. You have to be organized and know when that money is drafted or when you spend money on your credit or debit card.
As you know, I’ve been transitioning into handling the finances (paying bills and keeping track of budget), but I was getting really confused with when everything was due, what our username and passwords were, which company we were with, and how often we paid the company (monthly, every six months, once a year). So I created a spreadsheet with this information so I could keep track of all of it. My husband knows this stuff by memory now, but since I have a dump truck memory, I really needed it in writing. Not to be morbid, but it’s also a good idea to have it written down if something were to happen to either spouse.
THINGS TO ORGANIZE FINANCIALLY:
1. BUDGET – Obviously you should have an organized budget. We organize it by writing our categories on the left, our purchases in the middle (as we make them), and what we budget for them on the right. The wise Dave Ramey says, you budget to know where your money is going, not wondering where it went. Looking at your online statement is not budgeting (I did this in college). Most Americans cannot afford not to budget every penny they make. Again, below is how we organize our budget (this was last summer). I’m still on the fence about an electronic one so the math can be done automatically, but we’ll see.
2. BILL PAY SHEET – This is what I just created. It contains the bill (i.e. electricity), the company (i.e. TXU), the average amount we spend ($70), how often we pay it (i.e. monthly), the due date (i.e. 1st of month), and how we pay it (i.e. company’s website). When we do pay the bill, we write that down in our budget. Here’s an example. Sorry it’s kind of small…I had to shrink the font to fit on one page. I only kept a few lines of information for privacy reasons.
3. USERNAME AND PASSWORD SHEET – This is super helpful! I can’t tell you how many bills I put off paying because I didn’t have the password or couldn’t get a hold of Ryan. Here’s how we set ours up.
I feel like most people already have these things, then again I didn’t, so maybe you don’t either. Either way, it’s good to see how others organize their finances. HERE is how I keep our receipts organized, which helps me keep track of my spending also. If you have any other tips to organize your finances, please share. I’m always looking for ideas.