On a busy weekday I had to visit the school to collect stationery kits. I had to carry the school fee receipts along and could not remember where I had kept them. It took ten minutes of irritation and fumbling to find the receipts in a mass of bills of clothes, groceries, milk, newspaper, and so on. This has happened multiple times and finally I made up my mind to come up with a simple way to manage these bills and small documents without getting worked up or wasting too much time.
Managing bills has been a brain racker for me since I got married and started paying them. Finally I figured out how to do it in a systematic yet quick and easy way. I will make this a quick how-to! So here goes:
1. Get yourself a simple folder with divisions (at least 8), something like the picture is very easy to use. I bought this one from Club Factory online.
2. Now take Post-it notes and start labeling them as given below:
Monthly bills - paid (which arise every month - Milk, Newspaper, Ironing, Groceries, etc.)
Monthly bills - Yet to pay (same as above)
Temporary bills (To dispose within a few days, like clothes or any small products bills, say cushions or vase or medicines, in case you need to exchange any in a short period of time)
Long term bills (With Warranty or guarantee cards, school fee receipts for the year, etc that need to be stored from 6 months to 2 years)
Tax related or To be filed (insurance, PPF receipts, bank deposit receipts, cancelled cheques etc)
Photos (passport or stamp size that we never find when we need and end up getting more and more of them. Tell me if it happens with you too!)
Miscellaneous (incoming mail, invites, empty envelopes, etc)
3. That's it you are done!
I keep this folder handy at my desk so that any time I have a bill in hand I can quickly put it in place without the hassle of thinking, searching and then keeping it in the right place. I get rid of all the temporary bills in a few weeks, and the receipts to be filed are put in place as I find time or the need arises. This way, I do not lose any important papers and find them immediately when I need them. It also helps to keep a track of all your expenses when you wonder where did your money go! (does this happen to you as well?)
Of course, you can alter the headings according to your need and add or remove sections if required. Do try this method and let me know if it works for you!