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How exactly do I stay organized with 89 credit accounts, 31 bank accounts, 29 investment accounts and 32 other accounts (not including 14 accounts for the kids and numerous accounts for family members)?
That’s what readers wanted to know when I started to describe some of the details of our accounts. I’ll highlight my various strategies in a series of upcoming articles, this being the first.
I track most of the information in Microsoft Money including credit limits and account numbers. However, I have lots of doublechecks and information stored elsewhere to make the process efficient.
Bill Pay Strategies
When running a $200,000 credit card arbitrage plan, it’s important to keep the bills paid. Here’s some of the strategies that I use:
I have a list in excel of all bills and the approximate day of the month the bill is due. I delete them as I pay them. This is not really necessary, but it’s a doublecheck to make absolutely certain that I don’t miss a due date and it only takes a few extra seconds.
Here’s what this spreadsheet looks like:
|Day of Month||Company
|Jan 3||Electric & Gas||$220|
|Jan 7||Cell phone||$30|
Filing isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be. I used to file all my paperwork by account in neat little folders in a file cabinet. However, that started taking up too much time…. so now I just take all the papers for the the year, stuff them in a bankers box and put them in storage. I rarely have to go back and dig out papers over a year old, so it’s saved me quite a bit of time. The exception is tax papers; all of which are filed neatly by year.
I keep an excel spreadsheet dedicated to various aspects of my finances that don’t fit nicely into the Microsoft Money program. I’ll work on putting together more examples of the other spreadsheets that would be beneficial. In addition, see how I’ve made Microsoft Money more efficient for my finances.
How do you stay organized?