Does Your Financial Clutter Need a Spring Overhaul
If you are anything like me, you will be dreading the big annual spring clean – especially when it comes to sorting out the piles of bank statements and other important paperwork that has been accumulated since the last big overhaul.
Keeping your “financial house” clean and well-arranged could help you free up some space on shelves and drawers; it can also help you feel more organised and therefore financially empowered.
It goes without saying that first of all, you would need to sort out the paperwork into a number of categories. I normally categorise mine into: appliance manuals and warranties, bank statements, regular bills and statements, car documents, house and mortgage paperwork, policies such as gym membership policy, “forever” documents such as birth and marriage certificates. Drop the paperwork into files and folders according to your own system and label them. Consider investing in a fire- and water-proof storage box that you will be able to quickly locate and carry out of the house, if needed.
One of the most useful, but also perhaps, most time-consuming things you could ever do to keep your system even more organised is by making digital copies (scanning) of documents as a back-up, in case something happens to the hard copies. You could also consider scanning semi-important documents that you don’t necessarily want to retain in a physical form, but might need to have access to in the future. Just make sure you keep your files secure: protecting e-copies of your documents is just as important as keeping your hard documents safe.
After sorting out your stuff into a number of piles, you will most probably have a pile of no longer needed paperwork – make sure you get rid of it in a safe way to avoid identity theft. The easiest way would be to use a paper shredder. They are not very expensive: in fact, you can get one for around $70 from one of the major New Zealand appliance retailers. If that’s a bit too steep, Amazon has handheld devices for only $7USD. Alternatively, you can use your puppy (just joking!). But on a serious note, after you have shredded your paperwork, I recommend putting the remains of very important documents or credit cards into a number of different bags before throwing them away, to minimise the chances of identity theft.
Another important thing to consider – although a not very pleasant topic to talk about – is creating a folder of all important financial information for someone to be able to manage your affairs and estate if something unexpected was to happen to you: such as account numbers, login IDs, list of regular bills to be paid.
Hopefully, the big financial spring clean will be a bit easier, faster and more efficient with these tips. If you have any feedback about this article or our same day cash loan service, please get in touch with us today!