It can be intimidating – all those financial files and papers pleading for organization. If that corner of your kitchen counter is getting piled high with everything from banking account statements to your 401(k) documentation, you’re probably ready. But first check out which financial files and paperwork you should save and for how long.
First, don’t run out and buy some huge 4-drawer filing cabinet for your financial files and paperwork. For now, a plastic “see-through” filing box with a handle that accommodates hanging file folders will do. Once you need more room for your financial files, look to buy a second-hand file cabinet at a garage sale, used office furniture store, or from your own company (sometimes they have old extras hanging around).
The advantage of the file cabinet with a handle is you can take your financial files with you – to your accountant during tax season, to your mortgage broker when you refinance your mortgage, to your kitchen table when you’re ready to pay the bills. It really has a lot of advantages.
Which financial files to set up:
- Money Market
- Certificates of Deposit
- Real Estate
- Rental Properties
- Vacation Home
- Credit Cards
- American Express
- Car #1
- Car #2
- Brokerage account
- Estate Planning
- To Do
- To Be Paid
Within each hanging folder, I place manila folders to better organize what is going on within that category of my personal finances. For example, with INSURANCE labeled as the hanging folder, I put in manila folders with labels corresponding to each sub-category (life, health, auto, homeowners, etc).
By using this system, I’m better able to find what I need when I need it. Once your small carrying-around file box is full, move older items to a larger file cabinet.
What tips do you have for organizing your personal financial files?
Photo by jessica mullen