January Challenge: 4 Ways to Get Organized With Your Money
Another year means another exciting set of goals. Start things off right with a more organized money plan to meet those goals! The beauty of organizing your money is that, once it’s done, you’ll feel like you’ve cut out a lot of everyday stress and clutter—and simplified your money life.
Our January Challenge is all about taking control of your cash and putting every dollar where it needs to go. Here are four steps to making it happen.
1. Get rid of the paper pile. Maybe you have a stack of receipts and bills you’ve been meaning to file since forever.
Be intentional about scheduling a few minutes at the end of each day in the coming year to record your transactions so they don’t pile up. Or make it even easier on yourself by switching to EveryDollar Plus. With Plus, we’ll enter your transactions for you so you don’t even need to keep your receipts! Just drag, drop, and you’re done.
2. Plan out your meals. Pick a specific time—early in the week, every week—to make your meal plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Knowing what you’ll eat ahead of time prevents those “what’s for dinner” moments that end in the drive-thru line. Again.
If you’re pressed for time when it comes to planning, try an online meal-planning service like eMeals. Each week they send new recipes, including entrées and side dishes, along with a complete shopping list organized by grocery store section. You can even sign up for a free 14-day trial. Check it out!
3. Make bill paying quick. Set up as many bills for autodraft as you can. That way, you’re paying everything you owe easily and on time. For the companies that don’t offer autodraft, pay your bills as soon as you get them. Stick a stamp on them that night instead of letting them get lost in the junk drawer. The sooner you pay, the sooner you can think about something else!
4. Schedule a monthly money date. If you’re married, it’s best to get on the same with your money and your goals. Schedule a time each month to sit down and review what you’re doing. You’re a team. This is a great time to set (or reset) your goals, check your progress, and celebrate wins.
Organizing your money takes a little effort, but reaps big rewards. That’s because you’ll finally know exactly how much you can spend, save and give to reach your goals. No more guessing or wishing. You’ll just know.