Financial Routine





Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly



Each year, people make New Year’s resolutions, often involving diet, exercise, and money. While organizing can help you achieve your goals in all three areas, this post will focus on addressing money by creating a financial routine to organize your finances and start off the New Year on the right foot.


The keys to success for any resolution are making it automatic and being consistent. In the realm of finances, this means creating a routine that ensures all paperwork and important information is dealt with and retained if necessary. Simple steps each day, week, month, and year will create a consistent and easy to follow financial routine that will relieve you of stress and help avoid confusion and future issues.





Daily

To start, place all receipts, invoices, and payment notifications in a “Bills” folder (or bin) on a daily basis. No matter the importance or amount, doing so will ensure that each piece of paperwork is addressed later and you can get it off your mind for the time being. Having one spot for all of your paperwork will lessen the stress of having paperwork strewn about.



Weekly

Pick a day of the week to deal with your paperwork that is consistent week to week, no matter the circumstances. Some people find it convenient to do so on a Friday to get a good picture of what happened that week, concluding their week by reviewing transactions and paperwork. Others rather deal with these items on Monday so they can relax at the end of the week. Of course, there are then others who prefer to sort through papers on a weekend when they have more time and things are more flexible. No matter which day you choose, stay consistent, and perform the following tasks on the allotted day.


Pay. It is okay if you can’t pay every invoice or bill that week. However, by keeping them all in one place, bills and payments, including partial payments, become easier to track


Record Payment in a checking register or electronic accounting system such as QuickBooks. Doing so will give you a good overview of accounts and cash flows while ensuring that everything is tracked and accounted for, especially with partial payments.


File the paper in a “pending” folder. This is a place to store items so that they may be checked later and then either discarded or filed away. Never discard a piece of paper if you are unsure of what to do with it.



Monthly

On a monthly basis, on the same day as usual during the last week of the month, reconcile the accounts. Similarly to the weekly financing, keep it consistent with which day you choose. Reconciling means verifying that all receipts are accounted for on statements and ensuring that balances of accounts or amounts owed are accurate. If you need paperwork for taxes, expenses, or returns (especially for large purchases), file it. Otherwise, SHRED the paper!



Yearly

Pull out all of the files and assemble for tax preparation. Each step before this ensures that tax preparation includes all the work that you truly need.