Planning for the Future
Do you know where all your paperwork is? If not – or if your idea of filing is an overflowing shoebox – it's time for an organizational overhaul. Ultimately, it won't just make tax preparations easier – it can also save you time, stress and maybe even a little money. Here are some simple steps to help you get started.
Set up a system. Having a system can help you track spending, keep tabs on your investments and help you plan your budget. If you have complex finances or simply prefer technology solutions, you might want to purchase personal finance software.
For instance, with Quicken, you can import your Rabobank account information and access important personal banking features. (Direct Connect and Web Connect).
If your financial picture is on the simpler side, a classic Excel spreadsheet may do the trick. Or you can go old-school with a pen and ledger book.
Reduce. Experts say clutter can cause stress and disorganization. One way to cut the chaos is to reduce the flow of unwanted mail by using the Direct Marketing Association's mail preference service. Another way to decrease the mess on your desk: Trade paperwork for electronic documents, for instance with eBills and eStatements.
Shred old financial information that is no longer needed and cards you no longer use. Wherever possible, consolidate accounts under a single bank, too. The fewer you have, the easier it is to stay on top of transactions.
Automate it. Does your employer allow direct deposit? Does your insurance company offer online bill payment? Can you set up automatic investments into your IRA? Automatic transactions make life simpler.
You can even set up automatic recurring transfers between your Rabobank accounts (See a demo). That can be an easy way to make sure your emergency stash or retirement nest egg gets funded every month.
Bill Pay is another way to simplify your finances, allowing you to set up one-time or recurring payments to pay almost any person or company from one command center.
File it. Have a dedicated space for all things related to your financial life, be it a safe, file binder, desk drawer or computer folder. Whichever method you choose, keep the area clean, use it only for finances and be sure to put all of your financial documents there. If you opt for digital storage, remember to back up your files in case of a hard drive crash.
Maintenance. Keep tabs on your finances by reviewing your account activity on a daily or weekly basis. Regular maintenance enables you to stay in control by ensuring you pay your bills on time, prepare for upcoming expenses and monitor for any mistakes or fraudulent charges.
It may take a little time and effort up front to put these pieces in place. But once you do, you’ll be able to save time every day, breeze through tax preparations and keep tabs on your finances with less stress than ever before.
Get Organized, Get Rewarded
Many of the things you can do to get your financial life organized can also help you add up benefits with our new Rewards Banking program. Click here to see how direct deposits, Bill Pay, eStatements and other everyday banking activities can help you earn higher rates, get free services, save with special discounts and get money back.
The information contained in this article is intended for general educational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal, tax, or financial advice. Please consult with your own legal, tax or financial advisor for guidance with your own particular circumstances.