Valdosta Daily Times

Business

September 23, 2012

Brittany's Budget Diary: Kick your document hoarding to the curb!

(Continued)

VALDOSTA — After I learned what to keep and what to toss, I then had to find a cheap and, of course, decorative way to store my documents.

I took old shoe boxes and covered them with cute wrapping paper and even used old cereal boxes covered in wrapping paper to file big piles of related documents. I prefer these methods to a bulky and expensive filing cabinet because you can easily stack the boxes in the top of a closet out of the way. In fact, I got rid of my file cabinet because I found this method made me stay more organized.

I know for those of you who largely do your banking and bill paying online like me, here are some things I have started doing.

• I created a file on my desktop where I place copies that verify I have paid my student loan bills. My folder is titled “Student Loans” and then inside the folders is subsequent folders with the company names. You can set most accounts to email you confirmations when they have received your payments, and this is something I highly recommend. Also, this isn’t just for student loan bills, you can do this for any important bills you pay online.

• I also created a binder of all of my account numbers, my log ins, my passwords and my bill due dates. Make sure you don’t have this sort of information out in the open, but it makes paying bills so much easier.

• I don’t recommend keeping electronic financial documents in email folders, especially if you have a free email through something like Hotmail or Yahoo. You never know what could happen and if you lose all your documents; the company holds no liability. Also, email accounts have a storage max so you will have to delete periodically.

• If you keep financial records on your computer, burn the documents to a CD that you can place in a binder. This is an easy way to protect your documents if your computer crashes and a way that is much more convenient than dealing with tons of paper.

Well, my budgeteers, that’s all I have for you this week. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrittanysBudgetDiary. Also, follow me on Twitter @VDT_Brittany.

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