Tuesday, February 24, 2009

finances, schminances

So I need a good way to keep track of my finances. My current method? The bills arrive in my mailbox, I put them in a stack on my bookshelf. When the pile becomes too large, I then remember to pay one or two and then put the rest of the pile in a large Anthropologie bag in my closet. The best method? Probably not.

I really need to get them organized. I recently paid off a credit card and need to keep track of where my money is going. I'd like to even begin saving some...shocking!!!

How do you sort yours? An excel spreadsheet? An accordian file?

The irony of all of this is that my father is a financial planner....


magda said...

Ha ha, your dad's a financial planner. I love that.

I have an excel spreadsheet, and so long as I actually update it, it works pretty well. I aim to update it at the end of each month--I'll basically just list what I've spend with a short description, then tally what I spent total, what I saved, and what I invested.

For filing, I bought these cute filing boxes at the container store (LOVE that place). I have four of them (I think--maybe five?) and they're organized into groups like bills&receipts; insurance information; tax records; car and apartment paperwork. It's an easy-to-use system, and looks kind of cool, stacked as it is in the corner of my bedroom.

I'm not as disciplined as I should be. I think discipline is a key feature of a successful financial plan. Oops?

Anonymous said...

i have a spreadsheet i've been using for years. the first year it kinda blew but it was cool to see where all my money was going. by the second year it was cool though because i could compare what i was spending before and set goals on where to save and see how it affected my bottom line. now it's so ingrained that all i do is open up the file and go "oh crap... i can't buy any dresses for at least 2 months, i've spent too much already"

as for bill paying i pretty much do it 2x a month and my grid helps with this too because i'll open it and see that i haven't paid my cable or cell phone yet and then i send a payment right away.

i'd be happy to send over a blank copy, just let me know if you're interested : )

Anonymous said...

urgh....I need to do the same thing.

Jess said...

I use a spreadsheet in Google Documents so that I can access it anywhere. I keep it tracked by due date and amount and I sort by due date so I can see what's coming up and what's been paid off awhile ago, which means that a new bill might have been posted (I'm paperless for almost all my bills).

I hear that Quicken is really good for this. I might look into making the switch at some point.

Maxie said...

I like to go old school-- I have a bulletin board and I hang up all of my most recent bills. That way they are in my face the minute I walk through the door.

La Petite Belle said...

my husband has this weird excel speadsheet thing that looks odd. It has a lot of numbers in it and different tabs. ;)