Managing the finances for a household is not an easy task since there’s so much paperwork involved including monthly bills, paystubs, receipts, account statements, credit card payments, insurance policies and so much more that needs to be handled on a monthly basis. It can get overwhelming and it’s very easy to lose track of things that you need. However, if you have a good organizing system in place, you’ll be able to manage all things smoothly.
Develop a Household Filing System
Start by developing a household filing system. It’s very useful to have different folders for all the major categories such as health, banking, job, credit cards, taxes, home, automobiles, brokerage, insurance, major purchases, bills, and loans. These are the major categories, but they can vary from household to household. Make sure you have a proper filing system in place.
Regularly Check Your Mail
Check your received mail on a weekly basis and sort all documents in these folders. You can make two separate folders for your bills, one for paid and the other for unpaid. To make sure an unpaid bill doesn’t get lost in the mess, place the bill in a separate folder so that you can easily access it and keep track of it. Once you have paid the bill, you can transfer it to the paid folder. You can also have sub-folders for different utilities such as power and water.
Discard Unnecessary Documents
Of course, you don’t need to keep every piece of paper and there will be a lot of junk you can shred and throw out. However, you should always save insurance papers, account statements, pay-stubs, receipts for major purchases, health forms and everything related to your taxes.
You might want to consider creating a folder for your taxes on a yearly basis so that you have all the items in one place. Hence, you can access them easily when the time comes to pay taxes.
Try Online Billing Programs
To manage all your household bills, you can get bill books that you can find in an office supply store. They are a great way to organize your bills and sort them by the due date. You can also go digital and track your bill by using a personal finance program, an online service, or simply a spreadsheet.
Online bill payment systems are a great help as they let you stay organized as well as save money on stamps and your payments get cleared more quickly. There are many ways to manage your household bills, so it’s all about what suits you the best. If you enjoy maintaining folders, you can try that, but if you hate managing folders like most people, you can go for an online solution.
Starting to organize your household finances will be the difficult part, but once you get into a rhythm, it will all become very easy. The best part is you’ll know where everything is, and you’ll be free of anxiety and in full control of your household finances.