7 Financial Filing Routines to Implement ASAP

When it comes to financial organization, the more financial filing routines you have in place, the more in control you’ll feel about your financial situation. While a lot of financial filing routines aren’t 100% necessary, each routine you do implement will save you time, stress and hopefully a little money! Make sure you check out CGS Podcast Episode 21Setting Up Your Own Financial Filing System to create your financial filing process.

If you’re looking for a few key routines to implement to take your financial filing skills to the next level, I’m sharing 7 financial filing routines you’ll want to set up as soon as you can. Take it one by one until you’ve got yourself a successful financial organization system in place.

7 Financial Filing Routines to Implement ASAP

#1 File Monthly Bills

If you receive monthly bill statements (via the mail or email), you’ll want to establish a filing routine to ensure no bill is forgotten. Every time you receive a bill in the mail, it should be stored until you’re ready to sit down and pay bills. Same goes for email, except your bill will be stored in a digital folder.

How often do you sit down to pay bills? Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly? Whatever your cadence, you’ll want to ensure all the bills for that period are in your possession. This is why a filing routine is so important. Every time you get a bill, you know exactly where to put it.

Once bills are paid, I would recommend marking them as “paid” and storing them away. You can always do an annual or semi-annual purge, just to make sure you won’t need proof of anything before that timeframe.

#2 File Monthly Account Statements

A filing routine for monthly account statements shouldn’t be as sporadic as monthly bills, unless you have a lot of credit cards with differing due dates. Most bank account statements are issued within the first week of the month. Once you receive them, you can file them in a physical folder dedicated to each account type (checking, savings, investment, retirement, etc.). Or, if you receive them virtually, file them in the applicable folder on your computer.

For credit card statements, you’ll want to have your own folder for them. Since these will also double as bills, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t filed until payments have been made. They can be stored with your bills until the payments are made. Then, you can file them away.

#3 File Other Financial Documents

Any other important financial documents you receive throughout the month should be filed as soon as possible. For me, I have a filing cabinet with file folders labeled to match high-level categories in my life and finances. Refer to CGS Podcast Episode 21Setting Up Your Own Financial Filing System for the exact categories.

Any time I receive an important document, I file it in the applicable folder. Instead of letting the letters pile up and accumulate, my routine is to check the mail weekly and follow my normal routine for getting things filed or prepped to be filed.

#4 Close Out Your Monthly Budget

While most financial filing routines come with some sort of filing of documents or paperwork, there are a few additional financial filing routines that don’t. One example is the routine of closing out your budget for the month. I like to do this on the last day of the month or the first day of the following month. I take the time to track any spending (that wasn’t already tracked throughout the month), track month-end account balances and calculate my net worth.

Closing out your monthly budget is a great way to see how you did with your budget and spending for the month and get you in a frame of mind to do better the following month. This doesn’t have to be an hours long process. Once you get the hang of your routine, you can get it done in no time and feel accomplished.

#5 Close Out Your Monthly Net Worth Calculation

As I mentioned, a part of my monthly budget close out process is to calculate my net worth. I wait until the last day of the month because I can see where I stand with my asset and debt balances before moving into a new month. If you don’t already calculate your net worth, I would encourage you to start. A few years ago, I tracked my net worth consistently for a year and amazing things happened.

When you track your net worth month over month, you’re able to get an idea of your financial situation at a high level. You can identify what needs to be improved to help increase your net worth. You can quickly see if your debt balance went down, if your savings balance went up or how you’ve changed since the month before.

#6 File Pertinent Tax Information and Receipts

One type of financial documentation that doesn’t come in on a monthly cadence is information for your taxes. That could be receipts, annual tax documents or documents you receive from donations throughout the year. Just because these documents come in sporadically doesn’t mean they should have a routine for filing.

Similar to “other financial documents”, any time I receive documentation related to my taxes, I file it immediately. I have a “Tax Documents” file folder that I will put the documents in and when tax time comes, I never have to stress about finding things.

#7 Annual Financial Filing Clean Up

The final financial filing routine you’ll want to implement is an annual clean up process. We don’t need to hoard documents for years and years! Most of the documents filed throughout the year can be discarded, shredded, or trashed when a new year comes. There are certain exceptions, but things like monthly bills, monthly account statements and monthly credit card statements can be tossed in the new year.

Related: Your Guide to Organizing Your Financial Documents

I recommend setting specific dates every month (or year) for your financial filing routines. Put those dates on the calendar and set reminders, until they become second nature. Over time, you’ll notice that your filing routine will be quick and seamless! You’ll also always know where to look for important financial information you may need. Do you have any financial filing systems or routines set up? Share which routines are the most impactful for you in the Comments below!

-Raya
The CGS Team
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