Disclosure: I received compensation for publishing this post..not for the product links. The writing though is all me.
When it comes to your money, it's really important to be organized!
So, today I'm going to share with you some tips on how to manage your documents, especially your financial docs and your business ones, as well! I mean when you're getting ready to do your taxes (hello, July 15th in the U.S. is this year's tax filing deadline!) you need to have all of your paperwork in good order, so you can find what you need when you need it, and collaborate on documents without causing confusion. If you’re a business owner, it's even more important to keep documents, such as contracts and invoices, managed and organized. So...what's the best way to do this?
Step One: Declutter And Restructure
Let's Marie Kondo this thing and first, DECLUTTER! It's the #1 way to manifest more money, and it takes a psychic load off your shoulders.
Remember your financial life is a direct reflection of your emotional life, and your emotional life is a reflection of your physical and mental surroundings. I mean how many times do you lose something, when you are most stressed? I know when I'm mentally cluttered, I tend to forget where I park my car. It's the same thing with your financial life. And if you're a business owner, this means you could easily miss important information from a contract, or lose payment details for a vendor.
So, spend some time going through all your documents and getting rid of anything old, out-of-date or irrelevant. This can be with furniture that belonged to your ex! It can be clothes that no longer align. For paperwork, tax returns should be kept forever. Receipts, w-2's, year end investment statements should be kept for six years, since the IRS has up to this amount of time to audit returns. Pay stubs only need to be kept until you get your w-2 in January. For paperwork, you could do this with a document management service like https://www.templafy.com/enterprise-document-management/.
Step Two: Store Everything In One Place
Next, this is another Marie Kondo thing. You won’t find anything if you store things in a lot of different places. If you have documents scattered across your cloud, your hard-drive, and your emails, it’s going to take you ages to find what you need. So, find a place for everything and get your documents sorted into one place. It’s probably wise to store your documents on the cloud. This way, you can access them from wherever you are, from your computer or your phone, and still get at them even if your computer is lost, broken, or stolen. Put together a document with all of your passwords and keep it in a safe or just somewhere separately but where you'll remember, and if you're a couple...please share where to find this information!
Step Three: Sort Documents Logically
Now Marie Kondo has a special chapter in her book just on paperwork. In this day and age, even with technology, paperwork can really pile up! Try and sort everything out in a logical manner so you can find what you need. Agreements with vendors, like your web-host, go in one folder. Put contracts with brands in another. Store your invoices somewhere else. For items that you need for a while, but don’t need to keep forever can be stashed in a ‘to delete’ file until you’re done with them. Check through your system regularly so you can clear out anything that you don’t need anymore.
Any paper files that you need should be stored in a similar manner. Dividers or folders work well to keep everything tidy.
Step Four: Make Sure Your Files Are Secure
As a financial coach, I'm storing more sensitive data than the average person. However, it's important for all of us to make sure that this information is kept securely. Make sure you have a strong firewall in place and keep your anti-viral software on your computer up to date. If you use the cloud to store data, make sure you choose a secure service to do so.
Document management is more important than you might realize. Even as a solopreneur, you will have paperwork to handle. If you’re well-organized, you’ll have more time to focus on the creative parts of your business or career, instead of trying to juggle your paperwork.
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