Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giving Credit where Credit is Due.

This week I worked on organizing, cleaning out and filing our paperwork for the upcoming tax season. My dining room table looks like an unorganized accountants desk!

This morning I came up to the office to do some more filing and I think I finally solved one of my biggest issues - the filing and reconciling of monthly credit card receipts. To many of you this may sound like a no-brainer. But my old system (I mean pile) wasn't working so well.

I clean out my wallet every week or so then toss the stack into a file basket. Read between the lines - I'm busy, I'll get to it - eventually!  Needless to say the basket would fill up pretty quickly. Maybe it's psychological - (some organizational issues are ya know). Perhaps I don't file them because I don't want to see what's going out as opposed to what's coming in?

Here's the truth; I've never given enough thought to the efficient management of these receipts. I don't like filing and reconciling them. So instead I toss them in a pile and think 'Hey, I'll do it later'. Classic procrastination behavior!

When I receive my regular monthly credit card bills, I immediately open them, check them over, write the date they are due on the outside of the envelope and file them by due date. If there isn't a glaringly weird charge,  I go a head and pay the bill when due.

However I have not been so diligent about reconciling and filing each credit card receipt with each statement. Horror of horrors! I told my mom this the other night. I'm sure she thought, 'I know I taught you better!' She did.

But today, in an Ah-ha! moment (and after spotting some clear plastic zipper envelopes in the office closet) I figured it out! Put an envelope in each of the credit card statements' file folder!  Now when I clean out my wallet, I can toss each receipt into it's proper envelope. I also circle the date on the receipt to make reconciling easier. When the bill is due, match up the receipts, make my notes (sometimes it gets complicated), staple all together and, Ta-da!, it's DONE!

Here's my point; we all do this kind of thing. If we don't like to do something - we put it off. Me too. However - and I know this for a fact - if I spend the time needed to work out a system and tweak it from time to time (all organizational systems take some management), it WILL work!

And here's another - even bigger - point. Whatever you can do to make your life run smoother is worth the time spent. My desk is clear, my receipts are filed and life is good!

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