How To Keep Personal Financial Records

When implementing your financial plan, maintaining financial records such as income expenditures is essential to successful personal financial management.

Invoices, credit card statements, account statements, insurance policies, and tax records are the basis of financial record keeping. An organized system of record keeping provides a basis to:

  • Handle daily business affairs, including payment of bills on time.
  • Plan and measure financial progress.
  • Complete and forward required tax returns.
  • Make effective investment decisions.
  • Determine available resources for current and future buying.

Most records are kept in one of these three places:

  • a Home File,
  • a Safe Deposit Box, or
  • Personal Computer.

A Home File

Financial Records

A home file should be used to keep records for current needs and documents with limited value. Your home file can be a series of folders, a cabinet with several drawers, or even a cardboard box. Whatever method you use, it is important that your home file be organized to allow quick access to required documents and information.

Here is a tool that will show you how to organize your personal records.

Important records and valuable articles should be kept in a location that provides better security than a home file.

A Safe Deposit Box

bank safety box

A safe deposit box is a private storage area at a financial institution that provides maximum security for valuables and difficult-to-replace documents.

Access to the contents of a safe deposit box requires two keys. One key is issued to you while the other is kept by the financial institution where the safe deposit is located. Items commonly kept in a safe deposit box include stock certificates, wills, contracts, a list of insurance policies, and valuables such as jewelry, rare coins and stamps.

A Personal Computer (PC) or Laptop

Home PC

A personal computer or laptop can be used to store current and past budgets, personal financial statements, account summaries and performance results of investments.

I found a PC software application in the net called myINFOSAFE. It helps you organize and protect your personal information. You can check it out.

Another great resource for quickly organizing your financial records is this free Financial Information System template, courtesy of our friends at Debt-to-Income.com

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