It’s easier to make sense of your financial information when it’s organized and easily accessible. I recommend these five strategies for keeping your dollars and cents in order:
1) Use electronic tools. First and foremost, make use of online banking to monitor your checking account. In addition, there are free online applications to help you manage your money. One such resource, mint.com, automatically pulls together all of your various accounts to help you see the big picture.
2) Keep receipts. At the start of the new year, designate a folder to hold receipts for any potentially tax-deductible expenses, including medical bills. Asterisk receipts for expenses you need to scrutinize.
3) File away. Establish folders for bills and statements. Create a tickler file for notes or actions that need attention at a future date. Get in the habit of reviewing the contents of your tickler file on a regular basis.
4) Take notes. Carry a notepad with you to keep track of purchases and even must-have items you’d like to save up for. You can also jot down great deals or resources that support your financial goals.
5) Get in a groove. Identify at least one hour during the week to devote to managing your personal finances. During this time you can pay bills or catch up on any aspect of financial management. Making your finances a priority is an important aspect of fiscal responsibility.
Renée A. Hanson, CFP®, CEP®, CDFA™, CFS, is a private wealth advisor with Hanson, Ayala & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Her passion is in helping women achieve their dreams and financial goals, regardless of life’s many obstacles. Renée is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, IL, MI, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI. Please visit: www.reneehanson.com to learn more.
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