By Zoe Eisenberg
Financially successful people are typically also financially organized people. You too can join their ranks, and it doesn’t need to take a ton of time, or include a finance pro.
Clear aside a weekend to tackle your finances, and come Monday, you’ll be a master of money organization. Below are a few starters.
Create a budget. This may be the largest item on the financial to-do list, so tackle it first. Your budget should look at incoming and outgoing expenses, with areas to track necessary spending (bills) and fun spending. Don’t just make a budget and forget it. Pull it up weekly and update it with weekly spending so come tax time, your expenses are easy to track.
Create a list of bill due dates. Make an easy list or calendar of the dates your bills are due, and pay attention to it so you always have enough in your account and can avoid those overdraft fees—which brings us to…
Set up low-balance alerts. Most banks offer low-balance alerts, which you can set for a specific number, like $200 or $500. Every time your account hits your set number, your bank will let you know, so you can move money around and dodge overdraft fees.
Sign up for auto-pay and direct deposit. Signing up for auto-bill pay means you’ll never make a late payment again. This goes for depositing pay, too—use direct deposit wherever possible.
Set up a savings withdrawal. Your budget should give insight into how much of your monthly pay you can squirrel away. A great goal is 10 percent of your paycheck. Contact your bank or employee so that 10 percent of your income is automatically taken from your pay and put into a savings account.
Create a place to stash receipts, bills, and more. If you still like to use paper receipts and bills, set yourself up for optimum organization. A tri-bill folder is a great way to do this, or a filing system or even simple envelopes.
Create a financial goal. A financial goal can help keep you on track for savings. This goal can be weekly (save $50 a week), monthly (save $200 a month) or annually (stash away $2,500 by year’s end).