10 Steps to De-Clutter Your Finances Painlessly

organize financesTake control of your finances by organizing the clutter!
1-Set a box/basket in a prominent place to gather all your information from around the house. Select a pretty one since this may be seen for a long time as you gather your paperwork. Add folders for bills, statements, permanent papers, warranties & receipts, loose money in your car and house, uncashed checks gift cards, pay stubs and your last tax return. Don’t forget to look online. You may already have a more elaborate system in place, so use it!
2-Credit cards. Make a list of the account numbers, the due date, minimum payment, amount owed. If you can find the interest rate on the unpaid balance, add that to the list.
3-Pull a free credit report from the 3 bureaus. This will give you a list of your active, inactive and closed credit and the balances, lates, and credit limit. Check it against the statements you have and look for the statements you don’t have. Make a copy for yourself.
www.annualcreditreport.com or Equifax www.equifax.com
Experian www.experian.com
TransUnion www.transunion.com
4-List the due dates on your credit cards and call each credit card company and ask what day they report to the credit bureaus and how many days they need for processing. This date will most likely be different than your due date. You may pay off your card each month, but unless you pay it off before the report date with enough processing time, the bureaus see that you carry a balance. Add a column to your list of credit cards for the report date.
5-Car insurance. Again add this to your list of items to be paid each month. Car insurance renews every 6 months so you will most likely have several policies around. Look for the current and check the renewal date and add this to your list for future reference. (Do you have the insurance card in your wallet or car?)
6-Separate your statements-bank checking and savings accounts, stocks & mutual funds, bonds, trusts, IRAs, 401(k), and more. Make a list of these statements with account numbers, amounts in it, interest rates. You most likely get monthly or quarterly statements. As soon as you get the annual statement, you may dispose of that years statements.
7-Banks and credit unions-list your checking and savings accounts, Christmas account, an account attached to a loan, money markets, CDs. How many do you have? Add your check books and ATM cards. An ATM card has a different account number than the checking account.
8-Warranties, Instructions and Receipts-Keep the warranty, set of instructions and receipt for major items in your home as long as you have them. Receipts not needed for taxes or warranties may be tossed out after compared to your credit card statement.
9-Permanent Documents-Mortgage, Deed, Will, Estate planning documents, birth certificate, passport, marriage license, divorce decree, paid off loans (mortgages, HELOCs, student loans, car loans), personal loans.
10-SHRED IT – Don’t toss it!
Avoid identity theft by shredding offers, statements, bills with your name, address or account numbers.

10 Steps to De-Clutter Your Finances Painlessly
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