Welcome to Mission #12 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.
What do the financial folders in your home filing system look like? More accounts than you need or can handle?
If your accounts are in disorder, it makes it hard to feel on track with your financial goals. So this week we’re going to streamline your credit cards, bank accounts and investments accounts. It’s a great way to raise your financial self esteem.
Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below. If you’re new, you might like to start here: 52 Organizing Missions.
Get Organized Mission #12:
Organize Your Accounts & Credit Cards
Step 1: Collect Your Statements
Start by collecting the latest statement from every single account you have – whether it’s a credit card, bank account, savings vehicle or investment.
Step 2: Separate Statements By Account Type
Next, make a pile for each account type:
- Credit and store cards
- Bank accounts
- Retirement, 401K, or superannuation accounts
- Personal loan or debt accounts
- Investment accounts
Step 3: Decide What To Consolidate or Cancel
Now be honest: do you have more credit cards than is consistent with your financial goals? What about old accounts you don’t use but have never gotten around to closing?
These superfluous accounts create clutter in your life – mental clutter, paper clutter, sometimes email clutter. And they can undermine your sense of being in control of your finances.
Rid yourself of this clutter and boost your financial self-esteem by working out which accounts and cards you can cancel or consolidate.
Important note: Be smart and talk to a financial adviser if you need to.
Your Simplified Finances Worksheet
I’ve provided you with a Simplified Finances Worksheet for doing this step. It’s an interactive PDF, so you can Type-&-Save or Print-&-Write. This worksheet is from my Life & Goal Organizer Program. Download it by clicking the link below.[drain file 730 show]
Be sure to include contact details for each account you’ll be closing – you’ll need that info in the next step.
Step 4: Take Action Now
The last step is to contact each institution that has an account or card you need to cancel.
- If you can call them – great. You’ve got the account details handy, so this should take only a few minutes.
- If you need to send something in writing, create a quick template you can adapt for each account or card. Perhaps something like:
Please cancel card/account number: [Account Number]
Please send me a cheque for the balance [if applicable].
Name: [Your name]
Address: [Your address]
Thank you,[Your signature]
Now doesn’t that feel liberating! You’ve put yourself on the road to a more organized financial life.
Dos & Don’ts
- Don’t be afraid to let this be about your financial health as well as personal organization.
- Do be smart and talk to an accountant or financial adviser if you need to.
Extended Organizing Mission Options
Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?
- Include your spouse and consider other financial strategies you’ve been meaning to implement. Perhaps it’s time to start a savings plan?
- Take this opportunity to talk to your kids about money and saving. Do they have their own accounts for learning how to save?
Ready, Set, Go!
Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.
Before You Go – Please Check In
Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment. To leave a comment: Scroll to the bottom of this post, where you’ll find a comment box waiting for you.
And see you back here next week!
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Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andresrueda/ / CC BY 2.0
18 thoughts on “Get Organized Mission #12: Organize Your Accounts & Credit Cards”
I am a Dave Ramsey fan, so all I had to do was get rid of an old credit card I never use. Great to have it done.
Already do this – I am an accountant after all 🙂
Got rid of the credit cards long ago, dont use them at all.
Did this a few weeks ago, and went a step further. I get auto shipments of products that I can’t use fast enough. I had 5 boxes of mouth wash and 6 facial care kits! I’m saving about $70 a month for about 6 months and clearing out space in my cabinet at the same time! It felt great!
done with lots of thinking and then action
Did this one several years ago. We have one checking account and a 529 savings for my son’s college (next year!!!!). The credit cards have been whittled down to 4 – a gas card and 3 majors – and they are all paid in full every month.
That was already done. 🙂
I did go through my statements.. At the same time, I think I did this during the filing task in the earlier mission…
This is so refreshing…….have always kept a file like this and frankly, couldn’t live without it………JUST DO IT!
@MicheleConnolly Great Tip! http://bit.ly/8OLCJP
Oops. I have been sick and did the missions and totally for got to check in. Sorry. Done.
I didn’t have to do anything on this one – so done!
Yup, done and I forgot to add a comment. I do enjoy getting life more organized
Done ! I just have one account now and things are much easier…
RT @micheleconnolly Get Organized Mission #12: Organize Your Accounts & Credit Cards http://bt.io/4ui
Mission complete! This was so easy because I refuse to have a credit card!!!
I have 3 accounts, 1 is a debit visa, 1 is for savings, and the third is a term deposit.
Every time a new statement arrives I check it and file it straight away.
Easy, since I keep that part of my life simple.
Job done – for the most part.
I was able to merge a couple of savings accounts into a higher yielding product, as well as getting rid of some ‘dead wood.. Don’t rule out booking a visit to see an adviser at your main service provider. They are keen to hang on to their investors and better deals are starting to creep back.
Aha! Now I can do this easily because I gathered and categorized everything in #9’s filing mission. Love the logic. Thank you.
I’ll check in again when the job is done.