It’s that time of year again! I have shared previously how I handle our paperwork and due bills. I’ve used this folder system for two years now and it has made SUCH a difference in my effficiency and organization.
By keeping the year’s documents filed by month, I can easily find and retrieve any needed documents.
Each monthly folder has a “tally sheet” where I list all the bills that are due. There are the usual bills that are the same each month, but I also write out any one-time bills that come in. This sheet lets me keep track of bills that have been payed and that are still pending. Each bill name has a small circle that I check when I pay, and I note date paid, check number or Billpay confirmation code, as well as the amount.
During the month I also check account balances and note account balances on my monthly sheet.
On January 1st, I sit down and go through my folders. Starting with my January folder, I separate individual bills into piles, and from there go through the rest of the monthly folders. By the time I empty the December folder, I have all my bills neatly separated into stacks, and they are already in order based on date. I clip together each pile of bills, put a post it note labeling each as 2014, and then file into my main file folders.
Because I have used this system for the last two years, my master bill folders are neatly organized and I can easily search by year and month if necessary.
I have incorporated two additional items into this system this year.
Previously, I have only included Due Bills in my monthly folders. Any paper work that came in during the month went into a “To File” folder. I know my tendency to lose track of anything in a To File folder, so this year I started putting anything important into each monthly file folder along with the monthly bills. This has made it easier to keep track of documents as they have come in. For example, I put pay stubs into monthly folders as they come in, and at the end of the year, it was so easy to file as they were already in order. I also was able to retrieve information regarding our new health insurance coverage for 2015, because I know I did the paperwork in November and had it filed there.
Additionally, I have included a sturdy envelope in each folder for receipts. As receipts come in during the month, whether it is for gas, medical expenses or a Starbucks coffee, I put the receipts in the envelope. When I file my paperwork, I go through each envelope, trash any receipt that I don’t think is important, and end up with a much smaller pile of 2014 receipts to retain.
My paperwork for 2014 is filed and organized, ready for tax season, and I’m starting the new year organized!