Yesterday, I showed you how to make your own blogging planner.
Today, I’m going to show you how to make a Financial binder to keep all of your bills, bank statements, and taxes organized. I got this idea from a blog post awhile back. I feel bad because I don’t remember who I got the idea from, but I admit the idea was not my own!
I used to have a small finances section in my home management binder, but unfortunately, I never used it. I’m just not a budget person. I know, weird right? As much as I love organization, you’d think I’d keep a meticulous budget. But sadly, no.
What I actually keep is all the billing statements I get and as I pay them, I write down the day, time, amount of payment and how it was paid (including confirmation numbers if there are any) on the statement itself. I used to file all of these statements in my file drawer, but I kinda ran outta room!
So I created a financial binder in which I keep all of my bills (both paid and unpaid), taxes, and bank account information. I actually used an older binder that I still had from my college days. It says Stetson University on it, and it’s a faux leather. Plus it’s green. I thought it was appropriate.
A close-up of the tabs in my financial binder:
I used page protectors for documents that I need to keep for long periods like W2 forms, tax returns, Greg’s workman’s comp documents, unemployment forms, etc.
As I pay the bills, I move the statement from unpaid, to paid and at the end of the year, I’ll scan them all in to the computer and then shred them. My bank statements I’ll scan and move to a large three ring binder for past bank account and tax information (I scan the tax documents too).
I also have a “Track Your Spending” page, which I use to track my business expenses like office supplies, and homeschooling stuff.
Then comes the unpaid and paid bills sections. I have a utilities tracker page, which has the account numbers, phone numbers, mailing addresses and due dates for my three major utilities:
- Sumter Electric
- Florida Cable
Behind the utility tracker is the billing statement for the current month.
Once I pay the bill, I write all the pertinent information on the statement and file it in the paid bills tab. Like I said, I’ll scan these at the end of the year (or maybe every six months I’m not sure yet) and then shred them so I’ll always have a copy, but it won’t be taking up space in my binder or my filing drawer.
And lastly, I have a section for our bank account and tax information. I actually have most of our tax paperwork in this binder. We don’t have a lot of it, mainly because we file digitally now. I still print out the 1040 (or whatever form we’re currently using), and I keep it together with the W2s. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten rid of my tax information, I’m too afraid the IRS will suddenly figure out that I did and come audit me. Call me superstitious. 🙂
I have found this financial binder to be extremely helpful. I have added in a printable “financial goals” sheet that I found on About.com to the income tab. This has helped to give us an idea of what we really want to do with our extra money (should we have any). But it’s not really a budget, so I actually will use it! 😀
I can’t say the binder has helped save us money, but I can say that we now have a much better picture of where our money goes and when we pay our bills.
Tomorrow’s post will cover my daughter’s homeschooling notebook that I created to keep all of her lessons and other learning materials in order.