These days, it’s pretty rare to find someone who still uses snail mail to get their bank statements and bills. Most people use electronic services for their bills and with good reason. It means less rubbish and clutter around the house, and it can make organising your financial statements a lot easier compared to putting everything in its file, and having to put away the data and having it take up space in your home office.
Now, a lot of people treat their electronic files like you would regular bills; you dump them in a standard folder and forget about them until you need to look up a file from two months ago.
That is when the problem arises. You can’t find the file in your hodgepodge of data because of the number of files inside, and you can’t find it through CTRL+F because you can’t remember the file name or what it looks like because you saved it randomly and now it is lost forever in the junk drawer you call your computer’s hard disk.
Don’t be that guy. Take some time from your day off to organise your files neatly so you can look it up whenever you need them, and delete files when they are old and need to be replaced. Here are a few ways you can organise the financial files on your computer:
Choose a drive on your computer to turn into your personal data storage. Create a master folder and label it accordingly. Doing this will allow you to move all of your files as needed easily. You can then choose to password protect the folder if you want.
If you feel uneasy about storing your essential files on your computer, you can choose to save them in an external hard drive, or even cloud storage options like Google Drive or Dropbox, where you can control who gets to see it or not.
Now that your master folder has been set up, it is now time to organise your files. Throughout the years, you have probably accumulated a ton of digital paperwork including contracts, bank statements and insurance policies among others.
To help you get organised, separate each file depending on its purpose. You can create a folder within the master folder for your finances, insurance papers, and more. Next, all you have to do is save each file in the appropriate folder, so you know where to look when you need it.
Labelling each document clearly can save you time and effort. If you can’t immediately find it in its dedicated folder, you can search for it, and have it within seconds.
That is why it is important to label all of your files as best as you could. For example, you can mark bank statements depending on the month and year you got it. You can then arrange all files from that particular year into its folder within the finance folder.
It may seem a little tedious, but being able to arrange your statements in this manner can help save you time, and will even allow you to delete the entire folder without having to look for each file. This brings us to our final talking point:
We all like to keep vital records years after they no longer have meaning. However, over time, it can make your file folders crowded.
Make it a habit of deleting old bank statements, policies, and other outdated items. This can clear up storage space and offers your folder a cleaner and much more organised look.
But before you delete any of your files, check everything first and determine that it is indeed okay to remove.