This weekend, I decided it was time to deal with all of the filing and other things that I hadn’t taken care of in months. I have a sporadic filing system. Mail comes in. Junk goes in the recycle bin. Magazines and interesting catalogs get placed in the magazine rack. Bills get opened and paid. All other mail gets opened, looked at and either shredded, recycled, or put into a basket “to be dealt with later.” This includes things like bank statements (I do, of course, review them to make sure they look right), TSP statements, insurance statements, paystubs (I opted for electronic stubs and still get paper), etc. I also put all of my receipts into this basket. It’s where I put things that I know I need to keep.
The plan, of course, is to go through this basket every few weeks, no less than once a month, to go through the basket, update Microsoft Money (which I have used for years, and am loathe to give up just because of the years of back data), and file everything away in its proper place.
As I’m sure you can guess from the title of this post, the best laid plans…
I hadn’t updated anything since November. NOVEMBER, people. That is too long. Of course, it’s not an issue, since I track my spending with YNAB, and am obsessive about my bills. There were no surprises in the basket. But there very well could have been. I think that I’m careful when I go through everything, but it’s entirely possible I could miss something.
Plus I discovered that when you don’t download transactions from your credit card company for a few months, the download only gets about half of the transactions, making balancing things so much more difficult.
Part of my delay in doing this was that I knew I had put it off so long that it would take a chunk of time to get it all done. Did it? No more than an hour and a half, which isn’t bad. It could have just been 15 minutes of work at a time, if I had done it immediately.
So the new plan is to do these administrative type tasks at least once a month. As much as I don’t want to do them, it’s important to keep on top of all the paperwork. Next month, I also think it’s time to clear out the file box again. It’s getting a bit stuffed!