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Organizing Your Finances and Paperwork

Organizing your finances and the associated paperwork can be confusing. As a daily money manager, part of my job is to help my clients manage all of it. In this post, I’m sharing some of my best tips.

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Money in Your Pocket

Not everyone carries cash today, but if you do, you want to be sure you know how much you have. You also want to be sure you hand over the correct value of bills. If the Cash Envelope System is your current budgeting method, then this wallet insert will keep you fully organized. These file folder-style cash envelopes come in a set of five and fit most wallets and planners. Interested in labels for the Cash Envelope System inserts? Check these out here.

Financial Plan

Having a financial plan is the key to financial freedom and success.

Check out this great budget spreadsheet that automatically updates the monthly budget and our monthly financial to-do list for help!

organized paper colored paperclips

Organizing Your Finances and Financial Paperwork

Bank and credit card statements, tax info, insurance info, etc. There’s a lot of paperwork involved in financial management. Having a solid organizational system in place makes a big difference! First, check out our post to know how long to keep important documents. Then, set up a system. 

Create Categories

We’re focusing on finances, but you could also have categories for household expenses, vehicle expenses, etc.

Create Sub-Categories

For finances, sub-categories might include savings, checking account(s), student loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Be as specific and narrow as possible. It will help you find things later on.

Use Color Codes

Each of the larger categories should have its own color. This makes it easier to see at a glance. For finances, we like to use green. Use folder labels of the chosen color to create sub-category sections within the larger category. Erasable folder labels and a good permanent marker, make changing folder titles easy, if you want to change the label name, erase and rename it!

Make Labels

Using a label maker is a great way to get your files organized. If your handwriting isn’t precise or if you have dexterity issues, it can mean the difference between finding your savings account statements in seconds or searching through folders because you can’t read the labels. This label maker is versatile with Bluetooth, which allows the user to design from their Apple/Android mobile device or desktop.

Set up your filing drawer, cabinet, or box

tan storage boxes

Whether you need a whole cabinet, a drawer, or you’re using a file box (great for portability), the process for setting up your organization system is the same. 

  1. Use a separate hanging folder for each category. Depending on how much paperwork each category has, you may need to use more than one. Put them in the drawer in alphabetical order.
  2. Place documents in the appropriate sub-category folder and label it.
  3. Place each sub-category folder in the appropriate hanging folder, also in alphabetical order.

That’s it! Now, all you need to do is maintain it by correctly filing paperwork as it comes in and purging as appropriate. 

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Love this post! Thanks so much for sharing it 🙂

  2. Title Description

    This is a great post! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Chris Byers

    Impressive!Thanks for the post

    1. dtrue05

      Thank You!

  4. Paula

    How long should you hang on to bank statments or insurance papers for car or health or other inpirtant papers

    1. Denise

      Bank statements should be kept for one year unless needed for taxes/IRS, which then should be kept for three years. The IRS can audit back three to six years. Insurance paperwork can be purged annually only if it isn’t associated with a claim and the same for medical. Still, with certain special circumstances or claims, I’d keep anything that’s deductable for business expenses.

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