4 Tips for Organizing Your Finances

A Straight Talk on Debt

A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit.

4 Tips for Organizing Your Finances

Rate This
  • Comments 1

The garage. The closet. The shed. The junk drawer. The top of your dresser. What do all of these things have in common? They can quickly become unorganized and take on an uncontrollable life of their own!

Just this past Sunday I decided to tackle my closet, or at least part of it. I had not cleaned it out in over a year. I get most of my work clothes dry cleaned which means there are constantly a fresh crop of new hangers being placed in the closet each week and none being taken out. I ended up with two garbage bags full of hangers, dry-cleaning wrappers, and a bag of clothes for goodwill. If felt good to get it done but I should have never let it go that long.  

Cleaning up my finances…

The same is true with your finances. They can quickly get out of control if you are unorganized and don't manage them regularly. Do you know how many different credit cards you have? Do you know your balances or interest rates? Do any of them introductory rates about to expire? If you are like the majority of people you probably do not know the answers to these questions.   

  • Get organized.  The longest journey starts with the first step. Gather all your credit cards and the corresponding statements. Get a sheet of paper and a calendar. Write down each account, the balance, and the interest rate. On your calendar or in your outlook, write down the name and due date of each account to avoid missing payments. Knowing what you owe, the terms, and the due dates will help you to get organized, and ready for the next step.
  • Create a budget.  This is also a great time to create or define a budget; identify expenses you can either reduce or cut out completely. Cable, phone, and internet packages can often be scaled back. A five to ten minute call to your provider can result in a savings of $50 - $100 a month. Entertainment and groceries are also expenses that can easily be trimmed by using coupons. If you don't already have one, obtain a membership to a bulk goods store like Costco or BJ's. Talk to your family and friends and see if they would be willing to split the cost of some items. How many rolls of paper towels or napkins do your really need? Taking your lunch to work instead of eating out every day is also a great way to save money and eat healthier!  
  • Asses your debt.  If your interest rates are 10% or less you can more than likely handle the debt on your own. If this is the case focus on the accounts with higher interest rates by sending more than the minimum payment to pay the balance off more quickly. There are multitudes of credit card debt calculators available to help you calculate the amount needed to pay the accounts off in a specific amount of time.  
  • Consider getting help.  If your rates are higher than 10% it may be a good idea to consider a Debt Management Plan. When the interest rates are high it is almost impossible to handle them on your own, as most of your payment is going to interest. By enrolling in a Debt Management Plan you may receive benefits such as lower interest rates and lower overall monthly payments.

Now that you are organized you have to work to stay organized! Every three or four months it is a good idea to repeat the same exercise with your accounts and hopefully cross off some that have been paid in full and re-allocate those payments to another creditor.  

If you join a Debt Management Plan make sure you stay involved; read each of your creditor statements, participate in our Online Community, and share your success with others. Be sure to celebrate your victories! 

Rob Taylor   

Rob Taylor is a contributing author for A Straight Talk on Debt. Rob tells it like it is when it comes to the latest debt industry news and shares his advice on personal finance.

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share
  • When it comes to my finances, not so much. I don't know why that is. I don't know why I seem to almost rebel against making sure that everything associated with money in my life is about as organized as a junkyard.

Page 1 of 1 (1 items)