7. Delete Dormant Accounts
Send a letter to the company or institution asking them to close your account, whether it’s a credit card or a bank account.
This is a great strategy to keep your finances from being disorganized and will help your credit score as a bonus. Don’t fall for department shops’ and credit card issuers’ tempting offers of introductory APRs and other discounts just to get you to create a new account.
Taking advantage of every credit offer that comes your way is a quick way to fall into debt trouble.
8. Merge Your Financial Statements
Consolidate your credit card debt if you are carrying a balance on multiple cards. When transferring a balance, be wary of hidden or high one-time fees and interest charges.
Also, compile a complete accounting of your current Money Market, Savings, Certificate of Deposit, Individual Retirement Account, and Mutual Fund holdings.
Keeping your money in fewer places eliminates all of the guessing required and decreases errors.
9. Set up a Recurring Savings Plan
Set up automatic transfers from your primary account to a separate savings account. Most banks make it easy to set up recurring transfers of a set amount each month.
The vast majority of people do not consistently save money. Some people put off opening savings, retirement, or other accounts until they receive a big sum of money, such as a tax refund.
If you set up an automated monthly deposit into your savings account, you’ll have money in there sooner than you think.
10. Organize Your Files
Make use of a filing cabinet to keep track of your paid bills. Maintain separate records for each paid bill. At the end of each year, go through your records and dispose of any invoices and related receipts that are no longer required for tax or auditing reasons.
Contact your local IRS office to discover how long records need to be retained for audits. The standard audit period for federal tax returns is three years, but cancelled checks should be retained for seven.
For information on auditing and record-keeping standards in your jurisdiction, look online.