“Hi my name is Hannah and I am a chronic over drafter.”
Now that we’ve gotten that previous embarrassment out of the way, I would love to share some tips on how my husband and I have gotten our finances organized and avoided overdraft fees as a result of our hard work and organization. The key to staying organized in your finances is staying on top of them because money is fluid and tends to slip through our fingers if we aren’t careful!
Log in to your bank account
I know many people bank online and frequently check their accounts but if you have not yet DO IT! It is a fantastic tool and most of the apps I have seen are excellent and quick to update available balances. I would recommend getting in the habit of checking your account at least once a day, maybe twice, morning and night.
Gather all of your bills, a paper and pen, and a calendar
Hopefully, this won’t take more than a few minutes, but if you are just starting out and are little disorganized it might take you a bit longer. Gather all of your bills together that are sent to you in the mail. Then log in to your bank account and see all of the ones that are automatically withdrawn.
Make a List
I write all of our bills down with a pencil and paper, but if you prefer an online app there are great ones out there you can use. Write down every single thing you pay each month, the amount and the date it comes out of your account or the date it’s due.
Get out your calendar
Grab your calendar and on the date your bills are due write down what the bill is and the amount owed. Also, take the time to write down paydays so you know which bills will come out of each pay period.
Decide how you will separate your dollars
Some people can keep all of their dollars in their bank accounts and remember how much they can spend. We prefer to do the envelope system. So that means we withdraw most of our money and divide it among envelopes labeled with the bill name. Then on Sunday I look at our week coming up and notice what bills will be coming out. Last I make a plan for which days I need to go to the bank.
After you do these steps you are done! This is a quick easy way that doesn’t require a bunch of time sorting or organizing. Just gathering everything together and being able to see it all laid out in front of me is super helpful. Life gets busy and sometimes our finances get away from us. But when you have a plan life will go a lot smoother. It’s like the old saying goes “failure to plan is planning to fail.”