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Organize Your Finances

An organized financial life is important to peace of mind. Disorganization can cause missed opportunities and excess costs. Do you keep your finances organized?

First it is important to keep your investments papers all together. A file drawer or cabinet is ideal for paperwork. Alternatively, you could use an accordion file. The main point is to have all the paperwork in one place and not scattered across the house. Not only does this make your life easier, but it provides a degree of security from information theft. You do not want papers laying out for anyone to see and acquire your personal information.

Next have a file for each bank or brokerage that you deal with. Again this keeps papers organized so that you are not confused. This way you know that Fund A's paperwork is in Fund A's folder and not mixed in with papers for Fund B and Fund C. It is handy to use hanging files for each brokerage and then individual folders for each fund.

Do you keep your information on your computer instead? You can set up similar file styles on your computer with folders and folders within folders. A hard copy or backup of your information is crucial though. Computers can, and do, suddenly lose all their data. You don't want to be left without a backup in this instance. A backup drive or thumb drive will be invaluable. The thumb drive is handy to store your information in a safe or safety deposit box. You can go old-school and keep paperwork as well, but many organizers believe the less to organize the better.

You want to have a safe place for your important documents though. Wills, mortgage contracts, and similar documents are best kept in a safety deposit box. This keeps the items safe from theft and from the possibility of a fire at home destroying them.

Passwords need to be kept organized and safe as well. Many people have financial investments online. Secure passwords are essential. You can use one main password with a password protect site to keep your life organized and safe. Then you only need to remember and keep secure one password. Otherwise keep your list of passwords secure which may include a backup in a safe location. Again this could be a safe deposit box. This may seem inconvenient, but you would still have your passwords backed up in case of loss.

A little organization can make a financial life easier. You can avoid frantic hunts through the house for important papers. You will much more clearly know what you own and are invested in. That is a good feeling.

Are you interested in a simple portfolio to save for retirement? Please check out my book on building a simple retirement portfolio that is available at Amazon.com:
Investing $10K in 2014 (Sandra's Investing Basics)

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