October 16, 2014
If you want to have good control of your finances, keeping good records is one of the first steps. If your records are disorganized, they’re not going to be as effective a resource as they could otherwise be. Here are eight tips to help you keep your records organized so when you need it, you can easily get the information you need.
1. Have a central location for all statements, tax forms, receipts and other documents. Instead of keeping your records in random places throughout your home, keep them all together, ideally in a fireproof safe or cabinet.
2. Clearly label everything. Records from each tax year should be kept together and clearly labeled so you can quickly identify and grab them when needed.
3. File everything immediately. Don’t hang on to receipts and paperwork planning on filing them “later.” Instead, file everything immediately upon receipt.
4. Keep active files accessible. Files for the current year containing documents you need to get in and out of routinely should be kept nearby in an easily accessible location.
5. Consider scanning to save space and time. Using your computer to keep electronic copies of all your records will make organization, storage and maintenance much easier. Just make sure you create regular data backups and store them somewhere safe and secure. In addition to scanning, you can also opt to receive electronic statements from your various creditors and financial institutions.
6. Organize electronic records the same way you would paper records. Keep your electronic scans and statements in a central location on your computer, organized by year and clearly labeled.
7. Always keep security in mind. File cabinets should be locked, computers should be password protected and backup copies should be kept in a separate safe place, such as a safety deposit box.
8. Know what to keep and what to shred. In July, (http://kramerwealth.wpengine.com/how-long-to-keep-financial-documents-and-statements/) we talked about how long you need to keep your various financial documents and statements. Make sure you’re following the schedule and shredding documents when it’s safe to.
If you need advice on getting your financial document storage set up, we can help. Contact us today to discover the many ways Kramer Wealth Managers can help you organize your records and get a handle on your finances.