The Family Finance System

So now you know all about the Family Finance Folder.

But it takes more than a folder to conquer the clutter….it takes a  SYSTEM.  

 “Real organising is not just about sorting and storage.  To keep things organised, you need to establish a SYSTEM.”

Setting up systems in your home is like setting up routines or new habits.  After a few months of sticking to them, you wonder what you ever did before!

So here is our Family Finance System

1. Mail In.  This can be either the paper variety or most often electronically.  As soon as the bill comes in it is opened.  

NO MAIL REMAINS UNOPENED FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS.  

Yes sometimes you dread opening bills.  But delayed bill paying adds to paper clutter, increases the chance you will misplace it, pay it late and have to pay more in late payment fees. 

Collecting and opening the mail is a shared task and part of our everyday routine.  As we enter the house, after the school pick up, Master O collects the mail. He loves this job!

  • Whilst the kids are having afternoon tea, I go through the mail (and all the notes in the school bag!)
  • Junk mail straight to recycling bin
  • School notes to School File it Folder
  • Invitations onto Family Noticeboard.
To read more about our mail systems read my post on the family ORGANISATION STATION.
 
What about the bills???
 
2. Bills Board. The bills go straight onto the Bills Board.  This is simply a clipboard where we keep all bills until they are paid.  By having them in one location, we both know what needs to be paid.  At this stage (remember it is still after school)  I don’t usually look at it to much our record it on the budget at this stage.  This is just a store away time. During Little Miss A’s midday nap time  I check off the bills according to our budget using our finance calendar in the front of the family finance folder.  I am looking for
 
  • When is the bill due? This has generally already been recorded on the calendar so I just highlight it on the calendar or alter the date to reflect the bill. 
  • Is it how much I had budgeted for?  We rarely get surprises!  In general we have calculated how much each bill should be and put that money aside each fortnight.  My HOT TIP IS.  When creating a family budget slightly over calculate each bills.  That way you are never left short!  Even if the bill is less than you had expected, PAY WHAT YOU HAD BUDGETED FOR!  It will mean you are always a little ahead and give you a cushion, should you find yourself struggling one month!
  • Is it accurate? I always check our bills for inaccuracies.  Especially if it doesn’t seem to match previous bills or is more than I expected.  This way I can judge wether it is time to change suppliers or switch to a better plan or deal.
 
3.  Family Finance Folder.  Once the bill is paid it is stored in the relevant section of the Family Finance Folder.  I ALWAYS record the receipt number, on the bill, before storing it away.  At the end of the financial year all of these records will be used for tax purposes and then stored in a large filing cabinet in our home office.
 
So there you have it.  Our Family Finance System.  Did I miss anything?  
Please leave a comment and let me know! 

Comments

  1. Wow such an organised system! We do something very similar but with a little less structure. I’ve moved the bills clipboard to our command station so Capt Billpayer (not me) doesn’t miss anything.

  2. This post has come at a good time for me. Yesterday I sorted out all my paperwork (yay!) and this is great advice for organising it even more efficiently. Thank yoU!

  3. LOVE IT!

    You have inspired me to get off my bum today and finally organise our bills. I have so many different piles in front of the computer or on the bench that they often get lost or forgotten about!

  4. Rachel@redcliffestyle.com says:

    I wish I was as organized as you. I hate the bills opening and just leave them until my husband decides to open them. I think I should start a system like yours. Rachel xx

    For #TeamIBOT

  5. That is awesome, you are so well organised!!!! It is a really nice and neat space as well! I’m so not organised atm, but we are waiting to move into our house and I sure will be xo

  6. I was really looking forward to reading this. This is one area we need to get much better at.

  7. Becky from Becky and James says:

    LOve it! I always plan on being organised but along the way it just never happens. This is very inspirational

  8. Oh wow. This is great. Once my fiancee and I get a place of our own again I am going to set up a system like this so that I can keep us organised and on track.

    Thank you for sharing this and giving me ideas to mull over.

  9. Wow! You’re super organised. I used to deal with the bills and instead of a bill’s board, ours was placed on the fridge. But, now it goes straight into hubby’s in-tray for him to handle.

  10. This is one of my biggest housekeeping downfalls. We really need a system like this.

  11. Sorting out our finances is what we’re doing at the moment!
    I am looking forward to having it all under control and having a system that works. Thanks for the inspiration.
    The only thing I’m not sure I would do is have our bills on display in the house. We have friends and family coming and going a lot and they’re all nosey!!!!
    I would need to find a more secure spot yet somewhere we would remember to look at them!! xox

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