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Basic Step #2
Get Organized

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Make Time to Manage Your Money

Getting organized is an important step toward a financially fit lifestyle. This requires managing your financial documents, and also your time.

Consider financial planning part of your normal routine. Just as you would schedule time to go to the grocery store or the gym, you also should plan time to maintain a healthy financial life. Dedicate time each week to thinking, talking and learning about money management. Commit 30 to 60 minutes each week toward financial planning, and talk with your spouse or partner about developing a plan together.

Organize Your Financial Documents

You must know — or know how to get — detailed information about your financial situation in order to become a strong money manager. Collecting and organizing this information in a filing system that works for you will make future financial decisions easier.

Some of the documents that you should keep in an easily accessible fireproof box at your home and/or in secure cloud-based storage include:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card information
  • Investment information
  • Insurance policies
  • Tax returns
  • Wills (you may choose to have your attorney keep these)

Some important financial papers should not be kept at home, but instead in a safe deposit box at a bank or credit union. They include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Marriage license
  • Divorce papers
  • Military discharge papers
  • Copies of wills

For more information about organizing your financial documents, take SAM’s free Spending and Saving Basics course.