save moneyTip to Save Money with Organzaiton

By Michelle Parker Sharrow, MBA

One of  the best things about winter is the amount of quality time we spend hibernating indoors awaiting warm temperatures and long sunny days.  It is during this time that we are forced to face and conquer the mounds of clutter inside of our homes.   Here are a few ideas and tips to help you along the way.

Shredding Documents

The first thing you can do during those long cold weekends ahead is sort and shred your mail and other unnecessary documents such as years worth of utility bills and tax documents. Generally, tax documents and related receipts should only be kept for six years.  Utility bills can be shredded after you’ve verified that your most recent payment has posted to the account.  Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach has an excellent section on organizing your financial records that can help you get a clear picture of your current financial state and help you establish goals to get you where you’d like to be.

Filing

After you are done sorting and re-filing your financial records, go a step further and pull out those folded receipts that are tucked away in your wallet, nightstand, kitchen drawer and other nooks and crannies around your home.  File receipts for big ticket items like televisions, furniture and appliances that you would need if you ever had to file a claim with your home insurance company.  You should also consider making copies of these documents and placing them in a safe deposit box to protect against natural disasters such as flooding, hurricanes and tornados.

Reciepts

While going through those receipts, if you come across receipts for items that you haven’t worn or used, review the store return policy, which is usually printed on the back of the receipt, and consider taking the items back to the store for a refund.  Even if you can’t get cash back it might be worth your while to take a merchandise credit that you can use later rather than leaving the items in your home collecting dust.

Couponing

If after you’ve done all of this and there is still more of winter left, think long and hard about couponing if it is something that you don’t already do.  You don’t have to go to the extreme like the extreme couponing television shows as enough coupons come through snail mail and electronic mail. Purchase a purse size coupon envelope, make a list every time you shop, and match your coupons against the items on your list to maximize your savings.an leaving the items in your home collecting dust.

Don’t spend your entire fall and winter catching up on your sleep. There is so much that you can do in the area of organization that could be beneficial to you and your family.  From organizing your paper files, to shredding bills and unnecessary documents, there is nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes from finally tackling these large feats and reaping major savings in time, space and money from doing so.  Take the month of January and some of February to liberate yourself from the clutter and set the stage to accomplish everything else that you’d like to for the remainder of 2012.

 

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Michelle Sharrow

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA is a seasoned freelance writer specializing in personal finance. Based in Waldorf, Maryland, she holds a Masters Degree with a concentration in Finance. Michelle provides a monthly column on ways to help families maintain their finances and stick to a budget titled, Budgeting and Savings for Families.

More Family Finance:

http://extension.usu.edu/utah/htm/family-finance

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/healthy-families/family-finances

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance.shtml
Michelle Sharrow

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