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Creating a Financial System that Works

[Apr 16, 2008.]


If you've gotten yourself into financial trouble, chances are good that you might not have a good financial system in place. And without a good system, bills can be lost, balances can be hard to add up, and a general state of confusion can become normal. Instead of adding to your money issues, start your credit rebuilding by creating a system that works for you. Here are some things that you will want to keep in mind:

  • Create a calendar for bills that need to be paid - If you find that you are constantly making late payments or forgetting to pay your bills, you need to come up with a way to organize these bills when they come in. There are a number of ways to do this: have folders for each day of the month and place the bill in the calendar day that it needs to be send to the company; place sticky notes on the bills to remind you when they are due and place in order of due date; or write down on your list of things to do when bills need to be paid.

  • Make folders for each creditor - Get file folders and begin to organize the papers you have for each creditor. This will allow you to easily access your past payments as well as see trends in your interest rates. You will also have the customer service numbers on hand should you need to talk to anyone.

  • Online accounts don't need paper backups - Because your filing system can quickly get out of hand when you have a lot of papers to file, remember that you don't need to keep paper copies of online bills that you pay. These are stored in the servers and can be accessed anytime to be printed out.

  • Keep your passwords in one secure place - When you do most of your bill payments online, you will want to keep a record of the passwords and log in names in a safe and secure place, one that is easily accessible, not easily found.

  • Have one day upon which you handle bills - You might want to create one day a week where you handle all of your bills at the same time, or at least the ones that need to be paid that week. Sundays seem to be a good day for most people and it starts the week off on the right foot.

  • Keep any tax records in one place - When it comes time for tax season, you will need to have your papers in order. If you're not sure if you need to keep something, try to file it in a miscellaneous file and talk with your accountant or tax person to see if it needed to be kept.

  • Remember that you can throw things away - You don't need to keep every scrap of paper anymore. In fact, you can even scan any papers that you're not sure about keeping and save those images to a CD instead of filing them away.

Creating a system that works for you is the key to staying on top of your credit rating. By simply thinking about where you need to improve and how you need to improve, you will be able to design a space that handles your finances without causing more confusion.


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