Getting Your Financial House in Order
The beginning of a new year is a good time to evaluate our personal record keeping practices. Organizing your record keeping habits is often all that is needed to help you manage your money more efficiently. For some, organizing your finances might mean some type of computer software that assists you in keeping track of expenses; for others, it may mean logging your expenses manually. Whether you process your personal finances manually or using a computer, it is important to have some type of trail to assist in managing your money.
Evaluating your filing system is another important area when organizing your finances. Your paperwork can be divided into three categories; important papers that need to be kept, bills to pay and papers to discard. Papers such as insurance policies, tax returns, wills, mortgage documents, automobile title, retirement account information and other important documents should be kept in a safe and secure location. It is important that your executor has knowledge of where these important papers are kept in the event that something happens to you. Receipts that need to be kept temporarily can be placed in a separate file that can be destroyed once they are no longer needed. Taking a few minutes to go through your mail each day, discarding unwanted mail and filing bills in a “bills to pay” file can also help diminish that undesirable sea of paperwork.
Establishing good record keeping habits will not only make your finances organized during the year but will also assist in tax preparation at the end of the year. Adopting a system to organize your financial record keeping will assist you in being a better steward of that which God has entrusted to your care. I Cor. 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.”