organize your financial records

How to Organize Your Financial Paperwork

People hate organizing; especially paperwork. If you are one of those people who can’t ever seem to find what you need when you need it, then here is a quick system to try to keep your financial records handy.
To begin, get yourself either a good accordion folder, or dedicate one file drawer to your paperwork with about 12 hanging pocket folders and 50 or so file folders.  Label your pocket folders in the following categories:

  • Children – if you have children, chances are you have some money put aside for college (or intend to once you have your financial household in order); savings accounts in their names; or other investments.
  • Passwords – be sure to keep a list of all pertinent passwords and usernames for your accounts so that they can be easily retrieved in an emergency

Although quite simply to keep updated, this system does take a few hours to set up. Still, the time spent is well worth it when you consider how easily it allows you to get your hands on those important documents when you need them.

  • Pay Stubs – file copies of these away each payday. You never know when you are going to need a copy for a loan or other financial issue.
  • Tax Forms —  always keep a hard copy of your most recent tax forms (at least 3-5 years) available for reference
  • Retirement – inside this folder keep all of your records and statements pertaining to your retirement accounts. Keep a separate folder for each account
  • IRS – in this pocket folder keep seven files which contain all tax forms, W-2’s and pay stubs for each of the last tax reporting years
  • Social Security – keep your most recent social security benefits statement here (you should receive one in the mail every year), for your family to access in the event of your death. It clearly outlines what benefits they can expect should you die.
  • business loan SingaporeInvestments – in this folder keep records and statements from all investment accounts that are not part of your retirement savings. Should you want to invest but have limited cash, you can also resort to getting business loan Singapore
  • Savings & Checking – keep a copy of all of your bank statements and cancelled checks here
  • Household – in this folder keep files containing: your house’s deed or title; home improvements; warranties; mortgage information; and utilities.
  • Credit Cards – Separate your monthly credit card statements by card name. If you want to get best payday loan in Singapore just visit the office of a Singapore licensed money lender.
  • Misc. Liabilities – These files will contain information on all other debt you have accrued including student loans; personal loans; store credit; etc.
  • Insurances & Medical Records – keep copies of all insurance policies (health; life; disability; homeowner’s; car), including benefits statements separated by insurance type and carrier
  • Wills & Trusts – in the event something should happen to you or your spouse, having easy access to all personal wills and trusts will help make things easier for your survivors
How-to-qualify-for-a-loan

Do You Qualify for a Loan?

It’s time to borrow money for a new car, or even a house. But do you qualify for a loan? Before you head to the lender’s office to fill out an application, you should know what lenders are looking for in a borrower.

A Solid Your Credit History

The first thing a private loan company in Singapore will look at is whether or not you are a good risk for a loan. This entails running a credit check and seeing how you have handled debt in the past. A solid credit score is vital to containing a loan of any size.

The Ability to Repay the Loan

Lenders look at more than how much you make to figure out whether you can repay a loan. They also consider:

  • Your overall expenses: can you comfortably handle your bills each month?
  • Your debt ratio: do you have too much debt?
  • Your job security: have you been at your current job for at least two years?  Is your job safe?
  • Your savings: do you have the ability to make your payments for a few months in the event of an emergency?

Collateral

Personal Loans SingaporeHome and auto loans always require the borrower to put up the deed or title as collateral for the loan. That way, if you fail to make your payments, the lender can repossess the item purchased with the loan monies.

Outside factors That Could Affect Your Ability to Repay the Loan

There are a lot of things that could affect your ability to repay a loan: a job loss; illness; salary change; even the birth of a new child.  While you probably have little control over these outside factors, some lenders consider them when assessing a loan application.

When asking a lender to borrow money for a large purchase, be prepared to answer a lot of personal questions to determine your eligibility for the loan.  To ensure success, be vigilant about paying your bills on time (every month); paying off as much debt as you can; and establishing an emergency fund. All of these things will show the lender that you are a responsible borrower.

budget fails

Reasons Why Budgets Fail

You know how important setting a budget it. But why do so many of them fail According to the experts, most budgets fail because of:

A Poor Attitude

Making a spending plan work is all about your attitude.  Think of it as a way to keep you form getting what you want and you won’t stick to the plan. But, accept the fact that a budget can help you achieve your financial goals and  are bound to succeed.

Motivation

Learning how to manage your money takes committeemen – and that starts with motivation. Controlling your finances requires a change in the way you look at your life and the things that surround you.  Without proper motivation, failure is inevitable.

Expectations

If you mistakenly believe that watching what you spend for six months will suddenly get you out of your $30,000 of credit card debt and keep your mortgage holder form foreclosing, you may find yourself disappointed.  Budgeting is not a quick fix – it’s a permanent way of thinking about and using your money.

Begin with some reasonable expectations, and a manageable pace, and you will reach your financial milestones – one credit card or loan at a time.

Contentment

There are a lot of things that can bust a budget: discontent being a major culprit.

Remember, stuff does not make you happy. The fact is: the more we have the more stress we have and the more time we take away from our relationships trying to maintain our lifestyle.

An Inability to Cut the Excess

How would you like to cut your monthly spending by half right now?  Chances are you can! Many financial experts agree that if the average American family simply cut out the excess from their spending, many could lower their monthly expenses by as much as 50%.

So why don’t you?  The simple fact is, far too many people are unwilling to cut the excess from their spending, mistakenly believing that these items are necessities, and that keeps them from making their budget work.

An Unwillingness to Substitute

Scoff at buying generic?  Get used to it.  Most people who are free of debt usually make substitutions with some items by buying generic, or at least downgrading their initial choices.

Paying Full Price

Eventually, everything goes on sale, and refusing to wait until the price of the item you want is slashed 10%, 20% or even 50% is a big mistake.

Failing to Consider Big Changes

One of the biggest mistakes many people make when creating a workable budget is failing to understand that changes are necessary – and sometimes those changes are drastic! When debt has overburdened you, it may be necessary to consider some of these big-time changes in the way you live and spend money:

  • Downsizing Your
  • Selling Your Car(s)
  • Getting Rid of Anything That Costs You Money to
  • Ditching the

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can kill your budget, if you allow it too.  Be careful when planning how you spend your money to be sure that every expense is a justifiable expense that isn’t going to cost you more in the long run than it is really worth.

saver-vs-spender

What is Your Financial Personality?

There are basically two kinds of people: spenders and savers.  Of course, within those two simple groups are hundreds of variations.  The extremes are those who either:

  • believe it’s wrong to spend money on any indulgences or
  • believe that they deserve to have whatever they want, right now!

Both attitudes can be very dangerous to your financial security.  As with everything in life, balance is the key.

There are a lot of things that can impact the way we think about – and deal with – our own money issues.  The most common things influencing our money personality are:

Our Culture

The world screams more, while our bank account screams less.  Don’t let today’s culture and society bamboozle you into a life of debt and destruction.  Now’s the time to stand up and say “NO!”  to the things you don’t really need, or even want. Only then will you find yourself able to say yes to the things that really matter to you and your family.

Our Emotions

Money can be an emotional trigger for many of us.  It can help us feel better about ourselves, and the things going on in our lives; it can make us feel loved, and get the attention of those we want to love us; and it can show the world how successful we really are, or wish we could be.   All-too-often, people overspend to:

  • Decrease their feelings of insecurity and fill an emotional void of anger, rejection and even depression
  • Feel loved.
  • Buy the affections of others
  • Showcase Their Success. 

In addition to the ones listed above, envy and greed may be two of the strongest emotions linked to our money woes.  Sure, it feels good to have nice things – and newer things.  But keep yourself in check.  Ask yourself why it’s so important for you to have everything the neighbors or your friends have.  Do you really want it, or do you somehow feel like less if you don’t have it?  Be sure you understand the feelings and emotions behind your spending, in order to curb it and keep your own debt under control.

Your Financial Family Tree

Maybe the biggest influence on our own financial identity is how our parents viewed money and how it may have affected our upbringing.

There are a lot of things that influence how family financial issues affect the way we handle our own money as adults.  Some of the most common include:

  • The family’s overall financial status
  • Money messages that were heard over and over again as children
  • How you are viewed by others
  • The life you want for your children

So, What Your Financial Personality?

Look at all of these outer influences carefully to determine your own financial personality.  It’ll help you better understand why you think of money in a certain way and how your attitudes may be affecting your family – both negatively and positively.

No one’s financial personality is all right, or all wrong, but a mixture of good attributes and not so good ones.  So, why not take the best you have to offer, and create a brand new financial personality that fits what you really want out of life?

Financial_IQ

What is Your Financial IQ?

It’s time to get serious about your finances. But, first, you have to figure out how much do you really know about your money?  Take this short quiz to find out:

When it comes to spending I

    1. Overspend
    2. Am Frugal
    3. Spend Just the Right Amount

When it comes to spending, my spouse

    1. Is An Over spender
    2.  Is Too Frugal
    3. Spends Just The Right Amount

Our biggest area of financial deficiency is our

    1. Retirement Planning
    2. Education Saving
    3. Emergency Savings
    4. Ability to Balance the Budget
    5. All of the Above (and more)

Our family budget is done by

    1. Me
    2. My Spouse
    3. Both of Us
    4. What Budget?

Our checkbooks are held

    1. Individually
    2. Jointly
    3. A Combination of Joint and Separate Accounts

The final decision over important financial matters are handled by

    1. The Husband
    2. The Wife
    3. Whoever Makes More Money
    4. Together as a Couple

Our day-to-day expenses are managed by

    1. The Husband
    2. The Wife
    3. We Alternate
    4. No One Really

Our Investments and Savings Are Handled By

    1. The Husband
    2. The Wife
    3. Both of Us

Our Bills Are Due On

    1. The First of The Month
    2. The End of the Month
    3. Whenever a Second Notice Arrives

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Before we can begin to discuss the importance of budgeting and helping you establish a more satisfying wealth management plan for your family, you have to come to terms with your own responsibility for your family’s financial success.   If, after answering these few questions you realize that one person in the household is taking the brunt of the responsibility for taking care of your family’s money and bills, it’s time the other gets involved.  No one can follow a plan they have no control in creating in the first place.

Before working on a  financial plan, go over your financial situation.  Get to know the bills you owe (and when they’re due); what accounts you have open; what goals you have for the future; and anything else you deem important for your financial future.  If you have a partner, here are a few money habits to discuss:

  1. where you stand financially (how much you owe; what assets you have; whether or not you are behind in any payments, etc.).
  2. what you own free and clear (if anything)
  3. what bank accounts you have open (are they balanced?)
  4. what your credit report looks like (we’ll talk more about that soon)
  5. your savings habits (if any)
  6. your spending habits (be honest now)
  7. your attitudes and values about money

Once you have established a solid knowledge base about your whole financial picture, then (and only then) will you be able to successfully develop a plan for your financial future.