A List Of Lists To Help You Organize Your Money

Those who are good with money are almost always organized. One way to get on top of your finances is to keep exhaustive lists of your funds, glimpse the ugly truth they reveal and set financial goals accordingly.

The magnificently named Daily Money Shot offers an idea of a checklist to help get you started.

The post suggests starting with a financial basics checklist, helping you to cobble together necessary financial documents that catalog all areas of your profile, including insurance records, a budget, your will and listings of your assets.

As you set money goals, such as rounding up a down payment for a new car, increasing your retirement investments and cutting your debt, you can use your list to evaluate your progress.

Financial checklists [Daily Money Shot]

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  1. bendee says:

    I’ve been keeping a Google Docs spreadsheet with ALL money coming in and going out listed and categorized, and keep track month to month. Probably won’t do it for the rest of my life, but a great way to help save up for a down payment on a house

    • Rachacha says:

      We did that when we were saving for a house. We each had an “allowance” ($40) for weekly cash for lunch, coffee or other small expenses, but we tracked every other expense just to see where the money was going. After a couple of months, we looked at our spending, and we were able to alter our behavior to save some extra money every month.

  2. momtimestwo says:

    Has anyone tried to “snowball” their debts? I’m doing that this year and if anyone has any advice that would be great. I’m hit with a ton of medical bills that keep rolling in from different doctors after my son was in the hospital with pneumonia, and not everyone can be paid at once. Of course all of them want to be the one who gets paid *right now*.

    • dolemite says:

      I’ve been using that method, but had trouble because of vet bills, credit card debt piling up, etc.

      Normally, you’d want to focus on the higher % interest rate first, but I found that no matter how much $ I threw at it, it seemed to stay the same. So instead, I started focusing on my “static” debt. Every payment on my car equaled taking debt down. So after a year of paying double payments on my car, it is paid off. Now I have an extra $250 to pay on other debts.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Once you pay off those other debts, put that $250/month into a savings account earmarked for a new car if you can. That’s what we did when we paid off our car.

    • Bativac says:

      I did this myself not too long ago. I had a set amount each month I could use for “loan related” debt (credit card, student loan, a TV on a no-interest plan). I didn’t include the car or the house. So I paid the minimum monthly due on all but the smallest bill and knocked that one out first. Yeah, the other bills build up interest, but it feels good knocking out one of those loans and gives you motivation to take care of the other ones.

      At least, it worked for me…

    • impatientgirl says:

      First pay bills that affect you daily: rent/mortgage, utilties, gas, groceries etc
      If your debt is HUGE you need to cut the frivolous out of your budget. No one really needs 1000 cable channels.
      Sell anything you can live without that would bring in money that you wont want to repurchase later.
      Pay off the debts that are the lowest total amount first. If you’re paying $100 a month to someone for 9 months and you can just pay off that $900 in one shot, then every month you’ll have that $100 to pay a larger debt. Are your medical bills gaining interest? If not then this works for you. Paying just the minimums to a bunch of different companies never gets you anywhere.

  3. webweazel says:

    “I’m hit with a ton of medical bills that keep rolling in from different doctors after my son was in the hospital with pneumonia, and not everyone can be paid at once.”

    One thing I can tell you is to go over every single bill with a fine-toothed comb. Insurance or not. You (or your son) is LEGALLY entitled to SEE your medical records. (They only charge for copies.) Make sure that every doctor that is charging you has his name on those records and that he was actually seen. Sometimes they’ll charge you for a doctor who doesn’t even see the patient. Check for charges for medicines and supplies that were never given. Hospital bills are notorious for being rife with billing errors, some by mistake, and some on purpose, figuring most people will just let them slide. Take notes from the records, or pay for copies. Sit down with the notes/copies and the bills, and have at it. Find discrepancies? Go to the billing department at the hospital directly. Sit down with someone and go over your finds.

    That might save you a big chunk of change right there.

    • webweazel says:

      Sorry- reply to above. Me fail.

    • Not Given says:

      Try to negotiate with the doctors, etc. (Not their outsource billing company) Insurance companies get a deal where they pay a discounted price ask for that. They can only say no.

      Tell all but the smallest bills that you can only pay some small amount per month, save up a good amount, then ask one if they’ll settle for half if you could ‘borrow’ that much, if they say no keep up with the small payment and ask for the same deal from another. Keep it up until you get it whittled down. Make sure you get a paid in full statement.

      • milk says:

        Several years ago when I was in the process of getting a lot of necessary dental work done, one doctor voluntarily reduced the fees she was charging me. As she went over the details of what we needed to do, I teared up (embarrassing) seeing the thousands of dollars on the page, knowing how much I was already in debt at the time. We had a good rapport, and she did what she could to comfort me, then on our way out instructed her office staff to give me a certain discount from then on out. I was surprised. It never occurred to me medical expenses could be negotiable.