How To Quickly Organize Your Bills
Can you use some tips on how to quickly organize your bills? It has to be quick and easy for me or I won’t get it done. I used to do Private Banking for clients at a bank in Salt Lake City, Utah about 20 years ago. I also did mortgages for those same clients when I opened my own mortgage company for another 15 years. I had some clients who were organized with their “financial stuff” and more that were unorganized. The reason I want to explain why I am doing today’s post is because I have found over the years more people need help organizing their financial stuff than they realize. Of course, some people could care less to organize anything. That’s okay we are all different. I sometimes wonder why I am such an organized freak…….is it because I am left handed? I have to laugh, I really don’t know why I love to organize everything!
I usually update this post every year because I get emails from awesome readers thanking me for this easy to do tip for organizing bills. Here’s the deal, once you set up this system you are good to go for years, literally. On January 1st of each year, Mark changes the smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries and I file or shred last years paperwork. I file the tax stuff in one locked file cabinet and shred a lot of the stuff so the file folders can be used again and be ready for the new year.
How To Quickly Organize Your Bills:
Please picture this….because I was a banker and mortgage broker I would need to ask my clients for tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements and investment statements (for any loans or lines of credit). I soon learned the clients that were organized and those who were not. We are all so different in how we prioritize things. I would always give my clients hard cardboard folders filled with their tax returns and W-2’s, 1098’s and 1099’s before returning the items to them. Most would smile and thank me for “organizing” their stuff.
I think my brain never stops thinking of “projects”…….just saying. So then I started making sets of the following folders for all my clients when I did a loan for them. Then I started giving the sets as a gift to family members and friends. These are some folders I like to use: Smead Fastener File Folder, 2 Fasteners, Reinforced 1/3-Cut Tab, Letter Size, Manila, 50 Per Box (14537) I prefer the multi-colored folders so I can quickly find the one I want. I just use mailing labels like these: 1 X 30 UP Avery 5160 5260 5520 5810 5960 Compatible Sticker Labels – 100 Sheets
Here is the list I use in alphabetical order:
INSURANCE-HEALTH & LIFE
PROPERTY TAX INFO
RECEIPTS-DISPOSABLE: These are what I use for receipts: Smead File Pocket, Straight-Cut Tab, 3-1/2″ Expansion, Letter Size, Assorted Colors, 5 per Pack (73892)
RECEIPTS-LARGE ITEMS: Here is another option for filing receipts: Smead Hanging Pocket with Full-Height Gusset, 3-1/2″ Expansion, Letter Size, Assorted Colors, 4 per Pack (64291)
TAX DEDUCTIBLE RECEIPTS
TAX RETURNS 2016
TAX RETURNS 2017
TAX RETURNS 2018
TAX RETURNS 2019
Here is my famous two hole punch I use for filing my stuff:
If you order one of these and get some folders and use some mailing labels affixed to your folders you will be ready in one afternoon with all your financial information in one place. Yay! Swingline Comfort Handle 2-Hole Punch, 50% Easier, 1/4″ Hole Size, 28 Sheets (A7074050)
It may seem overwhelming if you have never used a filing system before. Trust me on this one, you will love it when you get this system set in place. You will know where everything is in minutes. Yes, you can organize your bills in one afternoon, I promise.
J Lux: Someone once taught me that I could do this in a shoebox, in order to begin getting such things organized and filed. I love teaching that to other people, too – you can see the light bulb go on in their eyes, when they get it that they can start small, and still be able to put their hands right on those important little things whenever they need ’em, in a way that is inexpensive, portable and HANDY! At-a-glance filing on the cheap. Win-win!
5 thoughts on “How To Quickly Organize Your Bills”
Great article. I always start out the year with good intentions then start slacking off about January 15!!
The hardest part that I have is organizing all of my papers to ease my tax days! What to keep and what not to keep, how long to keep what I need to keep.
This all goes well with your post on organizing our papers so that our loved ones have an easier time when “that” time comes.
My husband and I use the same folders and love the ones with 3 or 3 internal tabs. There are 2 prong fasteners on both sides so all car stuff can be filed in one Smead, all medical in another, etc. This way we have insurances, repair records and loan info in one place. We always keep the year intact until after we have done our taxes (usually February after all the January tax info comes in). Also, we keep a tax folder all year long (Smead pocket file)where we put any medical/dental/vision care receipt and receipts for donations, charitables, etc. Thank you for encouraging others as well! We save so much time having these at our fingertips!
Hi Wende Chan, I love hearing you are so organized! We save time if all of our information is in folders to grab for emergencies and tax time! You rock, Linda
Someone once taught me that I could do this in a shoebox, in order to begin getting such things organized and filed. I love teaching that to other people, too – you can see the light bulb go on in their eyes, when they get it that they can start small, and still be able to put their hands right on those important little things whenever they need ’em, in a way that is inexpensive, portable and HANDY! At-a-glance filing on the cheap. Win-win!
Hi J Lux, I am going to add this to my post because I realize some people cannot afford to buy folders. I grew up very poor, I get it. Thanks for sharing the shoebox idea. Linda