There are lots of ways to make your personal finances a greener and more hassle-free issue. I am all for minimizing the amount of paperwork in my life so I put together some tips. I already do all of these and it is great. I don’t even own a filing cabinet or the like because I have so little paper that I need to keep.
1. Pay your bills online. This is so easy I am not sure why everyone isn’t doing it! I don’t even have any checks or a checkbook anymore…everything is done online. I balance things out once a week with online statements and I pay all bills online through the vendor site, they do a direct withdrawl from my account (love this feature), or my bank cuts them a check on my behalf at the click of a button.
2. This tip is closely related to number one. Request that that your bank stop sending paper statements and get them emailed to you instead. Most banks offer this option. IF I ever need them I can just print them out.
3. Request that all bills be sent electronically as well. For instance, my verizon bills, my cable bill, my Internet bill, etc. are all sent to me via email. I just go to my account and hit pay and it is done.
4. Use online checkbook and finance software like Quicken or Money. You can even use a simple spreadsheet. I REALLY like the free budgeting system from Pear Budget. Some of these programs…like Money can be linked to your bank accounts and they update with your latest transactions whenever you open them.
5. Invest in a good scanner and scan all important documents and receipts. I end up recycling alot of my important papers after I scan them. If you have alot of receipts you need for tax purposes consider Neat Receipts. This program scans your receipts, bills, etc. and organizes them. Of course some I keep…like W2s, income tax returns, etc. Those things I keep in three ring binders in the basement.
6. Instead of printing receipts for online purchases, online bill payments, etc. do a screen capture (control+alt+print screen) and paste into a graphic application like Paint…save it as a .jpg file and file it on your computer with your scanned receipts.
Less paper. less waste, less hassle. Do you have any ideas to share?