Personal Budgeting and Money Saving Tips
Take some time to answer these questions about your V.I.P. (Very Important Papers). Answer 'Yes' or 'No' to each of them.
If you answered "No" to 2 or more of these questions, it's time to make some changes in your recordkeeping habits NOW !!
Keeping records may not be enjoyable to you, but it is necessary. Having a good system for keeping important papers can save time, money and effort. Other benefits provided by organized recordkeeping are:
Mastering Your Records
The best system for recordkeeping will vary from family to family. Certain decisions need to be made before setting up a system or improving on an old one.
Where To Keep Records
A Safe Deposit Box: There are some records and belongings which are costly and may be hard or even impossible to replace. Preferably, these should be kept in a safe deposit box at the bank. Another option might be a fireproof safe or filing cabinet in your home. ( Unfortunately, few of these are truly "fireproof" or "theft-proof". )
Some of these important papers are: car titles, birth certificates, marriage certificates, wills etc.
Current Records: You will need a temporary "keeping place" such as a cardboard box or file folders to keep receipts, paid bills, and notes of non-receipt cash payments such as gasoline etc. You may want also want to write these sorts of things in a home account book or some other sort of record of household expenses sheet. Both of these items are available at your local Extension office.
Permanent Files: At the end of each year, clear out your current files. Tax time is usually the most convenient time to do this. Throw away items which are no longer of any value. (Ex: sales receipts for groceries) You should have already recorded them on your expenses sheet or in the home account book.
Any important papers should be moved to your permanent filing system. As you look for items you need at tax time, throw out the things you no longer need. Transfer items you might need in the future to your permanent files. Items such as tax returns and bank statements are an example. For more information about documents to keep in your files, an extra fact sheet on this topic is included with this lesson.
Setting up a household filing system does take a bit of time. There is really no "right" or " wrong" way to do it. Every household has different situations it has to face. So, you may need to experiment a bit before you find the system which fits your needs best.
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