If there were ever a time to get your financial information sorted, it would be now. In the middle of a global pandemic, you may have lost significant sources of income. You may have lost your job entirely. If you own a business, you may be stuck trying to figure out how to pay rent and payroll. Everything is a mess. And if you don’t have your documents in order now, when everything starts to recover, it is going to be even more challenging to figure out how to move forward logically and effectively.
So even in the middle of the chaos, you need to figure out how to get all of your financial information organized and in searchable places. How exactly do you do this? You start by finding all of your relevant financial documents you have laying around your house or place of business. You look into creating a budget and finding receipts for all of your purchases. And you use all of the data possible to begin planning your financial future. This type of holistic organization will go a long way in the coming months.
The first thing that you need to do is find all of your important financial documents. These could be things like bank account numbers, information about loans, titles, or anything else where a hard copy would be beneficial, in addition to digital versions that you might have. If possible, have a single folder with all of your crucial documents and put it somewhere safe, ideally in a fireproof and waterproof safe. As an adult, it can be life-changing to lose some of these documents or not have access to them, which is why you should handle them and organize them accordingly.
Budgets and Receipts
Do you use a digital budgeting system? Do you keep your receipts anywhere special? Frequently those two systems work together, but there are times when you want to have physical copies of receipts, for example, if you need to return something. Any purchase that is more than $100 or so may require a physical receipt if you want to take it back to a store. The same goes for something that you bought online if it comes in a package. Part of organizing all of your finances will come from recognizing the potential need to return items that you don’t want.
Planning Your Financial Future
As you are organizing your finances in this troubled time, be sure to keep an eye toward the future. To plan your financial future, you have to have documents available and searchable. It’s fine taking all of the steps to organize your financial materials, but if you never do anything with them, then it’s a wasted opportunity. One of the primary purposes of having everything in the same place is so that you can use those numbers to coordinate your plan of economic attack.