Friday, May 2, 2014

Episode 5: Clean Up

Diving right in...

Now that everything has been written down, and hopefully you've stashed a good chunk into your savings's time to do the clean up.

When I do all the balancing and desk (ahem, and floor) is covered with receipts and bill stubs.  It's time to organize.  This is where the second binder comes in for me:

Remember this?  This binder has 3 of these divider/folder in it.  One labeled 'TO PAY', one labeled 'TO FILE' and the last one 'FOLLOW UP'.  Now, we all know that I have the wonderful command center that's located in my kitchen.  When we get mail, we immediately go through it and purge, recycle, or put away to be dealt with later.  This is part of the "later".  The bills that we receive that need to be paid, OR the bank statements that need to be cross checked go in the 'TO PAY' folder.  Once I'm finished with all the budgeting and balancing, all the receipts and bills stubs go into the 'TO FILE' folder.  Lastly, the stuff that will require say a phone call in a week, or a subscription that needs to be canceled, or something you're trying to decide on - it goes into the 'FOLLOW UP' folder.  It's all nice and tucked away into this binder until I'm ready to take it all head on.  I'll admit, the 'TO FILE' folder has been known to make the binder have a little pudge to it.  Like last week.  EEK!!!  I spent an extra 20 minutes filing everything because I'd been too lazy to do it.

Receipts.  We all know how those can get completely out of control.  Some of you save them (like me - to a point - I'll get to that), some of you throw them away.  I devised a system to keep track of our receipts - within reason.  I do not have 237 boxes of receipts from the past 10 years.  But, I do have these:

Which sit on top of this:
The three accordion files were purchased almost 2 years ago in the...Target dollar bins!!!  I tell you, those dollar bins are the best thing since individual peanut butter containers!!!  (I would have said sliced bread, but that's old news - even though I don't buy individual pb containers, they look cool!)  Any way, I use those for my receipts.  WOW!!!  That's a LOT of receipts you have, Megan (I know that's what you thinking)!!!  Well, here's my system for this:  I save 2 months worth of receipts - the past month and the current month which I constantly add to as we spend money throughout the month.  Once our bank statement gets in, I cross check everything - and I mean EVERY last transaction needs to be accounted for.  Once everything checks out, I go through that particular months receipts.  I throw away the ones we don't need (grocery, fuel, restaurant), and file the ones that are worth holding on to.  Such as:  large purchases, clothing receipts (I don't take tags off until it's ready to be worn, that way if you don't use it you can return it [with the exception of Target - their return policy really sucks the Tootsie Pop]), vehicle maintenance (parts or services), home improvement receipts, co-pay's, online purchases...etc.  Here's what the inside of one of our accordion files looks like *I'd like to point out that these were made BEFORE I knew a thing about Washi tape - or else it'd be decked out!!!*:

The other two look similar to this one.  It's a nifty system and if my Hubby needs to retrieve a receipt, he knows exactly where to look!  It's really pretty slick!!!  Now, what about all the other papers you need to file?  Well, that post will just have to wait until next Tuesday - hey, if I want to keep this blog going, I need to spread out the posts or else I'm going to run out of organizing/diy/recipes to blog about!!!

Have a most wonderful weekend folks!!!  It's Friday and time for some ORGANIZING!!!  I'm in the mood...

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