Because it is the first of the year, I want to tackle organization first. If you stay organized and do little things all through the year then tax time will be much quicker, easier and less stressful. I have learned this the hard way. There are years that I was so organized that it was beautiful and then there have been those other years.
I have to confess that this past year I have not done such a great job of staying organized. I have this huge drawer with bills, receipts, and other that I get to sort through one day and file before I can even start getting my taxes together. Don't do this! There is a better way! I am here to show you the proper way as I get back on track.
For this post we will discuss the filing system. The beauty of having a good filing system is that you can find anything you need easily and quickly. It makes life so much easier and so much neater too. It can also save you money. If you have messy files or the no filing system except a stashed drawer, shoe box, etc. it can actually be costing you money.
- It is easier to miss those little receipts that are deductible when you are having to do bulk filing due to not remembering what they are for or losing the receipt.
- Time is money. Every hour that you are spending trying to find and sort your tax receipts is time that you could be investing in your blog or business.
- If you just take your sack or box of receipts to your tax expert to deal with then you are having to pay for extra services.
- First you need a place to put those files. It can be a filing cabinet, a file box, or even one of those expandable folders. You decide what works best for you. I use one of those plastic file boxes. It holds about a year's worth of receipts and bills and then each year I empty it and start over. Check out Pinterest for inspiration on making those filing places work in your life. I have an organization board you can check out if you like. You can find it Here.
- Next you need file folders (I like to use pretty ones). Label those folders with the following:
- Credit Cards
- Store Receipts
- Home Repair
- Bank Statements
- Sales Receipts (Income)
We have a great start to getting ourselves organized. Next week I will discuss how to get bills, receipts, email and mail organized so that we can use our new file system and save time as well as simplify our lives.
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