12 Tips to Organizing your Financial Life
Putting your financial life together just makes you feel better, and you know where everything is at your fingertips! All you need are some Hanging Folders, a Pen and a box of File Folders.
- TAX RETURNS: Label 8 file folders, one for each of the last 7 years plus one for the current year. In it you want your important documents such as T-4’s, donation receipts, RSP contributions, etc., the return filed by your accountant, and your Notice of Assessment from the Government. Place a business card for your accountant in this file for easy reference.
- CANADA PENSION PLAN/OLD AGE SECURITY: Place your most recent CPP statement in this folder. If you don’t have a recent one you can go to http://www.rhdcc-hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/oas-cpp/index.shtml to request one.
- RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS: Create a file for each separate RRSP account that you have. Keep the most current monthly statement in these files. Place a business card for each investment contact in this file.
- INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS: These file are for anything other than your retirement accounts, such as mutual funds, GIC, stocks, bonds, etc. Place a business card for your investment contact in this file.
- SAVINGS AND CHEQUINGS: For each bank account, create a file and keep a copy of your monthly statements in these files.
- HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS: Create a file for each set of documents. In these files you want a copy of the mortgage papers, a file to hold a copy of the survey, your real estate Agreement of Purchase and Sale, receipts for any home improvements that you make to the home, monthly bills, etc. If you are a tenant, you will want to keep a copy of your lease, and rent receipts and security deposits.
- CREDIT CARD DEBT: Create a file for each one of your credit cards. In the file you will keep a copy of the statement. Be sure to review your statement every month to ensure that the purchases charged to the account are accurate, as well as watching for correct credit on any returns.
- OTHER DEBTS: In these files you will keep copies of any other kinds of liabilities, such as student loans, car loans, lines of credit, etc. On the top of each file write down the final payment due date so you know when you are debt free!
- INSURANCE: Make a folder for each kind of insurance, such as automobile, life,
home, tenant’s, disability, long-term care and health. In the Health file keep a copy of your company Benefit’s Handbook and any refund requisition forms. Keep a copy of refundable receipts in this file until you are ready to request a refund from your Company’s insurer. Place business cards for your life insurance representative plus any other contacts you will need to be in touch with.
- WILLS: Keep a most recent copy of your Wills (in a sealed envelope), Living Trusts and Power of Attorneys. Keep your lawyer’s business card in this file.
- CHILDREN: Create a file for each of your children. In these files you want and RESP’s, savings accounts, other investments. Keep a photocopy of their Health Cards, Social Insurance Numbers and Birth Certificates.
- MANUALS and WARRANTIES: Something that usually gets overlooked is finding a home for all those appliance and electronics manuals. I register the warranties then file the manuals, warranty cards and original receipts in a file folder. It’s amazing how few times you’ll need these, but how convenient it is to find them when they are needed!