Magazine article USA TODAY

Get Organized Via Spring Cleaning

Magazine article USA TODAY

Get Organized Via Spring Cleaning

Article excerpt

Spring cleaning should go beyond mops and brooms. Arm yourself with folders, labels, and bank statements. Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, Phoenix, Ariz., a nonprofit credit counseling company, says organizing your finances can help you save money and get out of debt.

"When you don't track your charges or pay bills on time, you run the risk of falling deeper into debt," Sullivan warns. "You can avoid overdue charges and other fees, and potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, by getting organized."

The average American has between five and 10 credit cards, which means he or she has between five and 10 credit card statements flooding the mailbox each month. Add that to seemingly countless credit card offers and it is easy to see how finances can get jumbled. No wonder household debt soared nearly 32% with more than 2,000,000 people filing for bankruptcy in 2005. Sullivan has suggestions for getting those finances back on track, so you do not become one of the millions of consumers who will file for bankruptcy this year:

Ditch the shoebox method. Tossing receipts, records, and bills into a bottomless pit increases the likelihood they will be passed over and not paid. Use files or stackable drawers and label each creditor. This will decrease the chance you will forget to send in rebates and credit card rewards. Moreover, file all of your tax-related information separately. You do not want to be scrambling for a year's worth of documents minutes before filing your own taxes or visiting an accountant. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.