3 Easy and Smart Ways to Start Organizing Your Finances

If you want to learn more about managing and organizing your finances, this is for you! Maybe your current system consists of a shoebox full of receipts, or maybe you’re pretty organized but could use a little push in the right direction. Either way, getting your financial ducks in a row might not be the most fun for some people, but it’s important. I’ll make it easier for you!

First things first. If you are a financial mess, it’s ok. You’re taking the first step to fixing that trainwreck and getting yourself headed in the right direction.

Repeat after me – it’s never too late to start.

There are two things that you cannot control or change – What happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow.

But you are in control of today. Right now. Your attitude will make all the difference. If you get discouraged or angry at your financial situation, then now is the time to change it and start organizing your finances for good!

Is there a magic fix?

Nope.

But you know that because you’re smart. So get ready. There are 3 very easy and actionable steps you can take to get your financial s*&$ together. Ready???

3 Steps to Organizing Your Finances

Assess Your Current Financial Situation

When is the last time you pulled it all out and really looked at where you stand financially? If the answer is never, then let’s get to it. Or if you had really good intentions that one time and never thought of it again, it’s time.

You can’t move forward if you don’t know where you stand.

Action Steps For Assessing Your Situation:

  1. Grab a binder, spreadsheet, napkin – whatever you can write on or make notes in. Write the date you’re starting. You’ll want to go back and look at your progress – it makes you feel good and keeps you motivated!
  2. Write out your income monthly, yearly, and any additional income that comes in irregularly.
  3. Write out your debts. All of them. This part blows if you are buried in debt, but to get out of debt, you have to know who and what you owe. Or if you don’t have any debt, move along.
  4. List any major expenses coming up this year or in the near future.
  5. List any savings you already have if any.

Consider starting a binder or buying one to keep it all together. Plan for a time to do all of this when you can be uninterrupted and preferably not when you’re exhausted and in a bad mood.

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There are tons of budget binders that can help you stay on track and meet your goals like this one. It’s an affordable option to help get you started. But, don’t let that hold you back – a plain notebook and paper will do just fine too!

Shop For Budgeting Binders Here!

Make a Plan for Managing and Organizing Your Finances

Now that you know exactly where you stand, it’s time to make a plan for managing and organizing your finances.

Action Steps for Making a Financial Plan

  • Think about what’s most important to you right this moment. If you are brand new to budgeting, maybe that’s where you start. If you’ve never budgeted your money, then you can decide that this year is different. Or even this month. Start small. Put a date in your calendar to do your budget each month. Give yourself 3 full months of budgeting and also some grace. It takes time and will likely take some adjustments also.
  • If you already budget but tend to overspend, it’s a good time to start tracking your actual spending. You can go the route of cash envelopes to know exactly how much money you have left for each category.
  • Or maybe your goal is retirement. Investing and retirement savings can be overwhelming. You need to do a little research to know where to put your money. A good starting place is this book, but you can find a wealth of information at your local library also!
  • Or maybe you do a pretty good job at budgeting already, but need to plan your savings better. If you don’t have an emergency fund, check out this post for some great tips.

Choose a Specific Goal and Create Steps to Achieve Your Goal

It’s too broad to say to yourself “I’m going to take control of my money, debt, or savings. Goals need to be specific and also attainable. Everyone needs a win and we aren’t trying to set ourselves up for failure. It’s great to have high hopes or expectations, but if you don’t have specifics in mind, it’s hard to stay on track.

Action Steps for Creating and Reaching a Financial Goal

  • Write out your goals – do you want to get out of debt, save money for college, save for retirement, save an emergency fund, stop living paycheck to paycheck? Whatever it is, write it out. Add it to your finance or budgeting binder so you see it every time you sit down to work on your budget.
  • Give your goals specific dollar amounts. For example, if you are trying to save an emergency fund, be intentional about the amount. Do you want to save $1000? Put $1000 as your goal and start keeping up with how close you are.
  • If your goal is to pay down your debt, have a list of those debts and start tracking how much you’ve paid each month.
  • Whatever it is you’re working towards, write out exactly how you plan to get there. Example – I will save $50 out of each paycheck to go towards my savings. Or each month I’ll bump up my savings rate by 1%.
  • If you’re funding a big expense, plan how long you have to save, divide that number by the number of paychecks you have and write that amount down to save each month.
  • After you’ve done your budget, you’ll have a realistic idea of how much you have to work with each month. If your amount is negative, you know it’s time to cut expenses or add income.

3 Tips for Organizing Your Finances

Assess Your Current Financial Situation

Make a Plan for Organizing and Managing Your Finances

Choose a Specific Goal and Create Steps to Achieve Your Goal

Here are a few helpful related posts that might help you stay on track with managing and organizing your finances for good!

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3 tips for managing and organizing your finances

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