Finances. Budgeting. Money. No matter how you coin it, dealing with the financial needs of yourself, your family or your business is a huge source of stress for many people. So much so that many people often avoid dealing with organizing their finances at all and wind up with a huge mess, they don’t know how to untangle. This, of course, adds to your stress and makes you like dealing with it even less. While we can’t take away all your stress and we’re not financial advisors, we can help you create a system to keep your financial matters organized and perhaps alleviate some stress.
- Set a schedule. Whether it’s daily or weekly, entering your financial data into accounting software or balancing your checkbook on a regular, ongoing basis helps you know exactly where your money is going, how much you have and prevents feeling overwhelmed as you would if you did it only once a month or once a year.
- Find and use the software. Quickbooks is popular but can be challenging for non-accounting-minded folks. It’s also a bit pricey for some people. Thankfully, there are many free options available that will connect with your bank account(s) and allow you to track your spending and income in ways that make sense for you. Wave is one of our favorites as it works for both business and personal expenses.
- Use email folders. With online shopping, it’s easy to hit the delete button when your order confirmation arrives. Remember that order confirmation functions as your receipt. So if you’re purchasing something that could be a tax write-off, it might be better to save it in an email folder you create for that purpose. At tax time, you can print or forward all of those email receipts and provide them to your tax preparer.
- Know what to save and for how long. If you’re like most people, you get more “junk” mail than you know what to do with. When you see something financial-related, it winds up in a pile. The truth is, you likely don’t need to save most of those. Talk with a tax professional or financial advisor to be sure before you toss anything. When you discard the financial mail you don’t have to keep, you might be surprised how much smaller and more manageable the pile becomes!
- Ask for help! If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, ask for help from someone who knows how to organize financial data and has been trusted to do so for more than 25 years…me! I’d love to help you regain control of your financial life.