Simple Financial Organization By Starting Small

Now that you’ve answered the 3 key financial organization questions and explored your emotional relationship to money, let’s lighten up. Literally. Pull out your purse, wallet, briefcase or backpack. Chances are that if you’re feeling financially disorganized, then these areas have a bit of clutter to clean up. In fact, did you know that May 15 was “National Clean Out Your Purse Day”? The very first step to organizing your finances, is to start with the foundation: your portable money zones.

Empty your purse, wallet or bags that you typically carry every day. First eliminate the trash. Stale cough drops. Gummy lip gloss you’d don’t like to use but have on hand for “just in case.” Toss any items past their expiration date or you haven’t used in ages. For those ladies who tend to carry stuff for others, make a separate pile. Chant this mantra: toss it! Business cards from someone you’d don’t remember from some networking event? Toss it! I suggest using a large surface like the dining room table to sort as well as a trash can handy.

Now that you’ve got a pile of things you want to keep and organize, sort by category. Categories can be: make-up, hair supplies, receipts, money, credit cards, receipts, etc. If you’re carrying four shades of lipstick, that’s probably too many. Pare things down. Remember, you want simple as you create financial organization in your life.

Next up, let’s tackle money, credit cards and receipts.

Are you one to stuff money into the nooks and crannies of your purse? Do coins end up at the bottom? How you handle money provides an important hint. Crumbled and jumbled bills mean a lack of respect for money. Make it a habit to organize the cash in your wallet. Here’s a tip I learned from my Grandmother Lois that really works: When sorted by denomination it’ll make it easier and faster at the checkout stand, and you’ll always know how much money you’re carrying around.

How many credit cards do you carry? If you have one of every kind, including those for department stores, it’s time for simplicity. I suggest having one for personal, one for business if applicable, and leave the rest at home.

If your wallet was stuffed to the brim with receipts, you’re not alone. An easy way to deal with receipts is to separate them into envelopes. Label them accordingly. Here are some examples:

  • Tax deductions
  • Purchases that need to be reconciled with your accounts
  • Medical reimbursements

A little later we’ll discuss how to maintain receipts as part of your financial organization routine so they don’t get out of control.

Now repack your purse, briefcase or backpack. If your purse doesn’t provide the organization you need, consider a purse organizer. In my opinion, they are well worth the investment. You can easily find one under $20. Be sure you don’t over-stuff it; remember the goal is to lighten your load.

Do you have any tips to share that keep your purse or briefcase organized?

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