Just like every workplace, every home needs a household record keeping system to ensure informatiion is readily available when you need it.
Alexandria Blaelock, author of Holistic Personal Finance: How to pay for the life you want says “It’s easy to take household record keeping for granted, but if you need to prove you’ve made a payment, you’d better be able to find those records when the debt collector’s at the door.”
Here are Blaelock’s tips for household record keeping:
- The system matters: Develop a system. Yes, you could throw all your bills and receipts in a box and forget about them. But without a filing system that’s accurate, reliable and easily accessible, you’ll find it difficult to locate the records you need when you need them.
- It’s not just your bank statements: Financial records are important, but your system also needs to protect and preserve important documents like birth, adoption, marriage and citzenship papers.
- Household inventory: Whether you know it or not, you have a lot of money tied up in moveable goods, and you’ll need the details for insurance claims if nothing else. Start keeping track of the goods you buy: purchase and disposal dates, serial numbers, repairs and maintenance. Don’t forget the gifts and bequests you’ve received, and consider whether you might want to start recording who you want your things to go to.
- Home renovation: While you might not be able to replace broken floor tiles, keep track of the colours and patterns you use when decorating just in case. You could also keep track of room sizes and renovation costs to help you cost and plan the next round.
- Backup plan: A neatly aranged filing cabinet with beautifully colour coded files is not much help if it goes up in flames along with the rest of your house. Consider scanning and saving important documents to a USB you can carry with you, or store offsite for emergencies.
Alexandria’s tips on household record keeping will help you save and file records so you can find them when you need them.
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