FLM Step 4: Time management expert teaches you how to set yourself up for success
In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we created a microsite that offers 30 simple steps to financial wellness--one for each day of the month. To enrich the experience, we asked some amazing people to guest post during the month on a topic that is related to the day’s step. Their dedication to financial literacy is truly inspiring! Today, organising coach Marcia Francois teaches you how to set yourself up for success.
5 easy steps to get organised and save money
Did you know that being organised saves you money?
• You waste money buying duplicates of items you didn’t know you had
• You waste money on late charges because you can’t find the bills you need to pay, or you forget to pay them on time
• You also waste money not deciding in the store where you should store the item you’re thinking of buying, and then not using it
So now that you know why you should get organised, let’s discuss some practical tips to show you how you can get your finances organised.
It’s a big myth that organising is difficult and time-consuming.
Yes, you do have to take some time initially to set up your system but unless you want to make things really complicated, it’ll only take you about 15 to 30 minutes.
1. Put all bills to be paid in a specific folder
When you bring in the mail, throw away the junk mail and envelopes immediately and only keep the actual bill in a dedicated plastic see-through envelope in a specific place. Arrange the bills in order of when they have to be paid so that the one facing you is also the most urgent bill.
This way you and the rest of your family always know exactly where to find all the bills.
2. Automate as many bill payments as possible
We live very busy lives so if you don’t have to think about paying it, all the better for you. That said, schedule a day of the month to check your online payments against your actual budget.
3. Dedicate a specific day or days of the month to pay your bills.
Mark off a date on your calendar when you pay bills. If your bills are due on different days of the month, you may need more than one date.
Because life happens, schedule the date a couple of days before the payment is actually due so you don’t incur any late fees.
Once your bills are paid, file them in the way that’s easiest for you to manage. If you’re not a file puncher, don’t fool yourself that you will start punching and filing. The road to hell is paved with good intentions! :)
Rather use a filing system where you simply drop the paper in and it’s done.
Restrict your filing space so that it forces you to clear out old bills every 6 – 12 months.
I actually only keep my own bills for 3 months because I have all my household categories in one file binder.
This easy-to-use system will take you only a minute or two a day, and about 30 minutes when you sit down and pay your bills.
If you need help getting to your financial freedom, check out 10 steps to your financial freedom now.
Marcia Francois is a time management and organising coach who empowers small business owners and other busy professionals who want to make the most of their time. You’ll get simple, practical organising and time management secrets to help you work less and enjoy life more! Visit TakeChargeSolutions.org for your free Organising Success Pack.