Money doesn’t grow on trees but it sure would be easier if the receipts would! Keeping track of receipts, files and important papers can mean the difference of wasting money or saving dollars. I used to put my important papers in a pile off to the side of my desk. Between knocking it over and the cat stretching out on them, my organization left little to be desired. I now use a couple of tricks to keep me organized.

First, I have a plastic file box that sits opened on a shelf in my office.  Inside it, I keep:

  • Insurance papers
    • Home
    • Business
    • Life
    • Health
    • Dental
    • Car
    • Long term care
  • Car titles/extra keys/maintenance records
  • End of life choices/DNR’s
  • Certificates & Policy booklets
    • Marriage License
    • Social Security Papers
    • Birth certificates
  • Taxes
    • Last seven years each with annual receipts
  • Thick files for receipts
    • Personal
    • Business
  • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Credit card papers (take copies of front and back and record pins)
    • Car loans
    • Student loans
    • Personal loans
  • Bank Accounts
    • Personal accounts
      • Checking
      • Saving
      • Investments
    • Business accounts
      • Checking
      • Saving
      • Investments
    • Investments
      • 401K’s
      • IRA’s
      • Annuities
    • Accounts
      • Identity Thief
      • Donation receipts
      • ???
    • Online Passwords
      • Keep a notebook with all your contact info, login names, passwords, security Q&A

 

After I’ve labeled in colorful folders all these topics, then I place the documents inside. Then I also have a 3-slot wall hanging holder. It’s divided up into Personal, Business and Misc. Every receipt I receive I place in one of the slots to be organized later. I’ve used this system for 10 years and it works for me—because I use it!

 

Go over your billing statements monthly. You’d be surprised how many mistakes you might catch from overbilling. I once went on a vacation with the money I caught on a bill that had gone overlooked for 10 years.

 

Invest in a sturdy shredder, and shred all personal information to avoid having your information compromised.

 

But then you need to go one step further. Involve a professional CPA. Their knowledge of informational needs will save you not only time but potentially tons