Do You Want to be More Organized? Start With Your Finances.

 

We all talk about getting more organized. But, typically our organization means getting our house in order, or our office, or our closet . (You get the picture, right?)  But, how many of  us have our finances in order? Organizing your finances means learning how to live within a budget, building good credit, controlling debt and excess spending, developing short and long-term financial goals, and learning to invest. Like organizing  your house, you have to do it a little bit at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed.  After all, if you’ve never taken time to organize your finances, it is not going to be an easy task to delve into. But  don’t worry, it’s never too late to get started.   Below is test to see just how organized you are or if you need to do some more tidying up.

Answer the questions and see how many are true. If get ten or more True answers, you are definitely on your way to getting  your finances in order.  If you are not quite there, work a little bit at a time to create the type of financial goals you want to have. Good luck!

  1. I can easily locate the paperwork and documents for all of my insurance policies, investments, and deeds for my car(s) and home(s).
  2. I know the total value of my net worth–including my savings, investments, home equity, etc.–updated on a quarterly basis.
  3. I know approximately how much I spend on utility bills and other staples each month, and am able to stay within a specific range.
  4. I have established a maximum amount I may spend of my discretionary income each month and stay strictly within that limit.
  5. I always have a target limit in mind of what I can afford to spend on a daily basis, such as when I shop at the supermarket, drug store, the mall, or go out for lunch or dinner.
  6. I have at least one utility registered in my name and at least one credit card under my name alone–not as a joint account.
  7. I check my credit rating at least once every three years and before every major purchase, such as a car or house.
  8. I have closed all credit card accounts that I do not regularly use.
  9. I have paid off all outstanding debts and any other blemishes on my credit report, and am current to date on my payments.
  10. I have consolidated the majority of my debt into just one or two payments a month with low interest rates.
  11. I have at least three to six months worth of living expenses saved in case of an emergency.
  12. I have a percentage of my salary deferred to a long-term retirement account each paycheck (either I do this myself or it is automatically deducted by my employer).
  13. I have established three short-term financial goals, such as saving for a car, vacation, or a holiday account.
  14. I have established three long-term financial goals, such as saving for a down payment on a home, investing for my child’s college education, or retirement.

 

WOYN Tip:  The next time you take a look at yourself in the mirror. Ask yourself what would you see if you put a mirror up to your finances? Would it be a  pretty fiscal picture or a fiscal mess?