She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. vs. 20
Student loans, rent, eating out, electric bills, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes thinking about finances makes my head spin. This is not my strong suit; however, I am really trying to learn more about budgeting, money-saving, and the like. Whenever your finances are in order, your life is often a lot less stressful. So a lot of these organizational tips are coming from other resources. I read a lot of blogs and articles about these topics, so I have run across a lot of helpful things along the way. Keep this in mind while reading this series on organization: I don’t expect everyone to enjoy organization the way I do; however, I would challenge you to try out some of these tips in your own life, make them work for you, and see how you feel at the end of the day.
Part 4: Keeping your finances organized
1. Read stories, testimonials, blogs, articles, books, etc about this topic.
This is simply a good starting point to help you get a good grip on money-saving ideas and how to keep your finances running smoothly.
2. Have a few people who are knowledgable and wise in this area keep you accountable.
Kaleb and I have learned from others. That’s what we do. I love it when other couples share their methods for keeping their house in order through organized finances.It’s good to take not only advice from others but have people in your life keeping you in check so you don’t spend more than you have.
3. Have a budget and stick to it.
Crown Financial Ministries is a great resource that has everything from budget calculators to home buying & selling calculators. You can find them here. I actually keep track of my budget in an excel sheet; however, these calculators helped me when I first started getting my finances in order.
4. “Pay” your bills at the first of the month.
What I mean “pay” them at the first of the month is write that check early or set that money aside, even if the bill is due at the end of the month. That way everything that HAS to be paid is “paid” or at least the money is allotted for. Then if necessary, you can cut back on entertainment or groceries if your funds get low because of added expenses that you didn’t except.
5. Save, save, save.
This is good for organization because when an emergency comes up, you have some back up cash. It’s really easy to say things like, “I will save money WHEN I make good money.” But truthfully, if you continue to put it off, then it probably won’t happen. I have noticed that as I get a higher paycheck in life, I tend to have more bills and obviously pay more tithes. Which means saving money still makes me cringe because I still live paycheck to paycheck. If you can’t save much a month, simply save change. My parents bought me a swing set when I was younger by their pocket change only. Also, it’s good to set your savings aside in another account so you don’t consider it as spendable money. Even if you can only put $20 a month in that account, over the course of a year that will be $240. Have a vision for what it can be, not how slow it seems to be going.
6. Utilize resources.
One of our wedding mentors told us about Mint. They use it and have said that it works quite well for them. I have yet to try it. Basically, it is an online resources that brings all of your financial accounts in one place and organizes your bills so you can the “big picture” with your money. Here’s a video that tells more about it. Another resource that a lot of banks offer is BillPay. It may be called a different name at your bank. With this, your bills can automatically be taken out of your account and sent to the company that the bill goes to. This saves money on postage and envelopes, and it also saves you time.
Overall, these seem like fairly basic tips. But it’s good to be thinking, “How can I improve my finances? What are way to help me be more organized?” Whenever your money is in order (even if there’s not a lot of it), there is a lot of freedom.
What are ways that help you keep your money organized?