Wednesday, 21 July 2010 22:31
If there’s one thing that really clutters a house, it’s paperwork and especially financial paperwork: statements, bills, receipts, check registers…the list goes on and on. Here are 5 ways you can reduce the financial clutter:
1. Use a Debit Card
If you are a member of CWA, Check Writers Anonymous, it’s time you admit you have a problem and make the switch to using a debit card. Here are some of the many reasons: less time at the register, less paper usage, and finally the basis of this blog, less clutter. Get help from a friend, they can explain how easy it is to use.
2. Electronic Statements
From your credit union or bank account statements to your credit card bills, make sure you sign up to receive statements and bills electronically. One thing you may not think about is your retirement account statements but just think of all the thick fund booklets you get that you never look at. Go to the account website and sign up for all of their online newsletters and eStatements so you no longer receive them in the mail.
3. Online Bill Payment
There are several ways to pay your bills that don’t include writing checks and stamping envelopes. One is to use your credit union or bank’s online bill payment. Another is to go straight to the provider’s website and pay the bill through their system. Or you can pay with your debit or credit card – this solution is best if you earn any type of card usage rewards.
If you have accounts at several institutions, consider switching them all to one. Also, consider consolidating debt; you reduce the number of statements, payments, etc. that you have to manage.
5. Personal Finance Software
So, if you are no longer writing checks, then you also need to stop using a written register. That doesn’t mean to stop keeping track of your spending. There are several different types of software that will help you keep track of your finances such as Quicken or Mint.com.
These steps may not totally eliminate the paper clutter in your house, but it will definitely make a dent – or room for more…