It’s the beginning of a New Year, and it’s a good time to get the paperwork in order around here. New Year, clean file cabinets, that’s my motto right now. One of my main job titles here at home is Family CFO. I take care of all of the family finances. There is no way I would want my Travel Guy to have this task on his shoulders. He has enough to worry about going from city to city, and staying on task with his job.
Here’s what I have been working on since the New Year started. I have a fairly decent filing system for all of the paperwork. Designated by income info, banking info, auto info, mortgage and house info, utility info, and medical info. These are my major filing groups. I still have a fair amount of papers to file every month, but more and more have gone paperless over the last two years. Since January, I have been going through my files and archiving any papers over a year old. I like to keep the last year’s paperwork in my current files just in case I have to refer back to any numbers. This is especially the case with any medical bills.
All of my bills are paid online through my bank’s bill pay feature. Most of the bills are scheduled to be paid automatically, so they are just set on auto-pilot. I do make a point to go in and review the payments at the beginning of the month, just to be sure everything is in order. This is a handy way to pay the bills, and allows me to have the bills and the receipts for the payments right at my fingertips on the banking bill pay site.
One other tool that I like to use for organizing the paperwork is Microsoft One Note. You can print any bills or receipts that you want to organize directly to One Note. In One Note you are able to create notebooks, and then organize the “paperwork” in each of the notebooks for any future reference. For example, you can have a notebook for medical receipts, major purchases, paid receipts for any bills that you want to get your hands on quickly. It’s a great tool, and similar to Evernote.
One last item that takes time in the finance part of my world is keeping Travel Man all put together with his expenses. Once a month or more, depending on the current travel frequency, I go through and audit his expense reports against our credit card statement. Some months when the trips are back to back it becomes important to be sure we are getting reimbursed for all the travel expenses owed back from the company. This is a quick task for me to take care of to be sure there is nothing missed. Of course coming from a bookkeeping background does help a little in this department too.
Oh, and I do have to mention that Travel Man and I do discuss our finances on a regular basis. The finance meetings happen most often via email or a Skype call. But we stay on track together, and try not to have any big hiccups. Like I have said before, it’s a bit of a crazy existence, but right now it’s what works for us.
How do you like to organize your bills and such? Paper or paperless?