File all papers

Being organised is the first step to having control and visibility over your financial situation. It will save you money and time and you might even find money you didn’t know about.

Steps to organize

  1. Collect all documents listed below. Some of it can be found online.
  2. If the documents you found are more than a year old, call and ask for updated documents.
  3. Scan it with a scanner, with one of the scan apps (e.g., Scannable)
  4. Have another text file with user names and HINTS to passwords to all institution websites. Do not write all passwords directly but a hint, such as: Nat’s year of birth, my first child name with $.

Folder: paychecks, expenses, banks and credit cards

  • Work contracts
  • Paychecks (weekly, monthly, annual)
  • Taxes – Income tax, social security
  • Bank details and last year statement
  • Checks
  • Credit card reports
  • Loans

Folder: Housing/Rent or Mortgage

  • Renting
    • Rent contract
    • Bill receipts for renting period
  • Purchasing a house
    • Purchase contract
    • Plans
    • Mortgage contract, payments
  • List of all suppliers (internet, cables, cellular, land phone, electricity, gaz, …)
  • Contract for all suppliers if relevant
  • Bills from all suppliers for the last two years
  • List and contracts for all subscriptions (newspapers, gyms)
  • House purchases: Receipts, warranties

Folder: Car

  • Buying contract
  • Ownership/Registration, license copy
  • Insurances
  • Garage treatments
  • Fuel receipts
  • Toll roads, parking tickets, etc.

Folder: Family

  • Diplomas
  • Certificates: Birth, Marriage
  • Vaccinations data
  • Last medical info
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The path to financial freedom

Know thyself (financially).

You MUST understand your finances before you work on it. This is not one of the cases where you want to depend on luck.
Track your past expenses
Check your credit report
Understand your net worth
These are the most basic steps to truly understanding your finances.

Determine what drives you

Realise why you want it, articulate your motivation. There are going to be difficult times, there are going to be temptations a long the way. Have a solid foundation to go back to whenever you are in doubt.

“I want money” is too vague. Money is a tool, not a goal. The underlying reason for most of us is that we’d like to fix our finances.

Here are some examples:

  • I want to give more. I am well aware that you don’t have to have much money to give it away, but I want to give my children/family/charity more than I do now.
  • I want to provide security for my family.
  • I want to travel. I love to visit places I’ve never been, meet the people, see the sights, and taste the food.

Let’s break it down: How much do you need?

Ok, you want to travel, to give, to have, to do… Translate it to a number, how much money should you have in order to do these?

After that, break it down some more. How are you going to get this number? This is the time to break it to a monthly, or even weekly goal – make it specific, measurable goal. These periodical goals are good to check that you are on track and also to celebrate small achievements along the way. We tend to lose our steam if we can’t stop and celebrate a couple little victories every once-and-a-while.

Write down your goals, or even schedule a weekly/monthly date with yourself to check on them.

Action!

So you know where you are, where you want to be, and how you want to get there – great! Time to walk the walk.

I’ll help as much as I can. Subscribe to the automatic email updates, take whatever advice and tips resonate with you and skip the rest.