Organizing Your Finances Made Easy
"A key to getting organized is as simple
as keeping control of income and outgo"
RELEASE: May 2002
Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director
San Diego, CA. "Some folks seem
to have troubles paying their monthly bills, even though they're
not strapped for cash. In fact, all some folks need is help organizing
their finances and creating a system to get their bills paid on
time," says the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education
(ICFE) based in San Diego.
"For the disorganized, a key to getting organized is as simple
as keeping control of income and outgo. The reason some people pay
their bills late is that they don't have a system for what to do
when the bills arrive in the mail and when to pay them. Instead,
some folks spend big amounts right away, not thinking about any
bills that may be due," says the ICFE.
Start by creating a list of every bill you are responsible for paying,
the amount due and the date due. For bills that vary from month
to month, use an average. Once the list of bills is complete, assign
certain bills to certain paychecks. For instance if you get paid
weekly, you will have four paychecks a month, so if a car payment
is due on the 15th of every month, you may use the an amount from
second paycheck every month. If the rent or mortgage is due on the
first of every month, you may want to assign the third and fourth
paychecks from the previous month. A few adjustments may be required
to get the program started, however, it flows smoothly afterwards.
If you receive a paycheck every other week, the principle is still
After the bills are assigned to paychecks, use your growing financial
self-discipline to insure that the bills are paid on time, according
to the schedule. WARNING, if you put off one of two bills until
the following paycheck(s), you will end up disorganized again. There
is a silver lining for those who are paid weekly. Every four months
they will receive a fifth weekly paycheck and if all the bills are
assigned to paychecks, you will have an extra payday in those months
and it may be an opportunity to pay off debts and or put more money
into savings. To stay organized, some use budget worksheets from
the ICFE and also use envelopes for bills and receipts, placing
them in 12 monthly folders.
The nonprofit ICFE makes free information available on its Web site
at: www.financial-education-icfe.org. For a reprint of 'Setting up and implementing
a spending plan,' please send a 60 cent stamped, self-addressed
to: ICFE Spending-plans, PO Box 34070 San Diego, CA 92163-4070.
The ICFE's course in personal finance is known as the "Money
Instructions Book' is a Home Study Course and is $29.95 plus $4
postage. Visit www.financial-education-icfe.org and order on-line or send to: ICFE
Home Study Programs U.S. PO Box 34070, San Diego, CA 92163-4070.
NOTE: Importantly, organizing one's finances so that bills get paid
on time will only work if you already have enough money to pay your
bills and still put food on the table and gas in your vehicle. If
you are overextended and are unable to make payments on time because
you don't have enough income, that is an entirely different matter,
and you should contact a nonprofit consumer credit counselor.