If 2021 seemed like a cascade of unnecessary paperwork, 2022 doesn’t have to be. You no longer have to wade through the unnecessary paper by implementing a few changes now. Record-keeping doesn’t have to be all about the paper trail. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to cut back on the pile.
Pay Your Bills with E-bills at the Bank
Banks these days make things easy for their customers by helping track the due dates for e-bills and giving the ability to look at previous bills with just a few clicks. What is an e-bill, you ask? Simply put, an e-bill is an electronic version of a paper bill. Through their online banking site and apps, vendors deliver bills directly to your bank rather than your email or mailbox. Upon logging on to your bank account, you’ll be able to view the bill like you would your paper bills. You’re then able to make your payments quickly and directly to the merchant from your bank account without needing to log on to various vendor sites. This eliminates the need for paper bills and also for any checks you might write. While you are setting e-bills, swap out paper bank statements to the paperless option.
Adopt Paperless Statement for Investment Accounts
Let’s get real, do you really open and read your investment account statements? This is a no judgement zone; no need to stress if there is a stack of unopened statements. Investment companies offer their records such as trade confirmations, periodic statements, and many forms online. You’ll need to create an online account to access and download any of the records you need. There’s a bonus benefit of setting up online access: you can view historical statements and current account balances with a few clicks. Are you still resisting going paperless? Then consider turning all trade confirmations notice to paperless. Mother Nature will thank you for it.
No Receipts for Cash Payments
If you pay for things with cash, or have small dollar amounts with your purchases, consider requesting receipts that are texted or emailed rather than printed if you still feel the need for the record. This action is especially helpful for items that cannot be returned, such as gas, a cup of coffee, or groceries. Unless every dollar you spend needs to be tracked, you’ll be able to keep the clutter at bay.
Create a Paperless Archive
With most transactions and records these days, there is an electronic file available that you’ll be able to download. Instead of printing these records for your file cabinet, consider creating an online “file cabinet”, or paperless archive, where you can access all your electronic documents. If you’re worried about the possibility of your machine crashing and losing it all, you can save your files to the Cloud and rest easy that they’re easily accessible. We recommend services such as iCloud, Google Drive, or DropBox.
You’ll want to make sure your password is a complex one that includes letters, numbers, and special characters. If your computer is shared with the whole family and has unrestricted access, this computer is not the place to store these records. By saving them to the Cloud, you’ll be able to verify that your folders and files aren’t accessible by anyone else unless you choose to add them yourself.
Take Advantage of Free Shred Events in Your Local Area
Monitor your community news and social media outlets for free shredding events where you can offload all your paperwork for shredding. Big-box retailers such as Staples, OfficeMax/Office Depot and UPS stores offer free shred events. Do good by supporting community shredding events, where by making a donation to a local non-profit you gain you access to low-cost shredding services. This is an excellent resource if you don’t have your own shredder or if you have too many papers for your shredder to handle. You’ll be able to clean out your file cabinet and stop worrying about any of your information being insecure.
With a little tweaks here and there, you’ll be able to reduce the mountain of paper for 2022. In doing so, you’ll save yourself a few headaches and give yourself peace of mind.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers can help you streamline and manage your financial tasks on your behalf. Schedule a consultation today and give yourself the freedom to joyfully and abundantly live life.