It’s that time of year when our thoughts may tend to linger on financial organization, or our LACK of financial organization. We are sitting right between the season of New Year’s resolutions and Tax-Time. At the New Year, we may make hopeful money-related resolutions like “I’m going to keep all my receipts this year” or “I’m going to review my financial plans and make some important changes”. Once tax time rolls around we might start thinking….”I really should have kept those receipts organized” or “I think I need to make this income line on my return BIGGER next year.”
I totally skipped the money-related resolution thing this year and I’m not sure if that was such a great idea. We haven’t even started looking at our taxes yet. A big part of the reason for that is that since I’m self-employed we always end up owing taxes and I really don’t want to pay any sooner than I absolutely have to. The other reason that we haven’t done anything is that I am not organized. I know that I really SHOULD be organized, but I’m not. Right now I just have some messy file folders on my desk that are full of receipts in no particular order (are they even all from this year?) and all of the W2s, 1099s and other year-end paperwork we have received in the mail over the last couple of months is tossed willy-nilly into a drawer of the dining room hutch.
Needless to say, I am reconsidering my “organization” system and realize that it may be time to make a two-month late New Years resolution to get my financial paperwork in order. So, that's it – I resolve to: Keep all financial paperwork all in one place – none of this some upstairs/some downstairs business. Keep receipts organized and in order, divided by business vs. household, etc. Review end-of-year statements as they come in to ensure accuracy (especially important for 1099s). Start next year's tax return EARLY. Sure, I don't have to pay early, but it is at least good to know where we sit and how much we owe and be prepared.
So do you think I can do it? How about you….are you organized? Go ahead and tell me how organized you are…I won't be ashamed! (Well, not TOO ashamed.)