How do you keep finances organized? Check out Visa’s Know Your Numbers Instant Win Game!

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It’s confession time again.  I used to be in debt.  A lot of debt.  Not as much as some, but certainly far more than I’d ever be able to handle getting out of with no assistance.  I lost sleep over it. I worried, and fretted, and worried some more.  A lot of it was largely in part due to immaturity and inexperience in dealing with finances, as well as…well, stupidity (hey, I’ll own it). But it was also in part due to me not having my finances organized. This became especially clear to me once I was a homeowner and could take advantage of things called deductions and expenses, but given my disorganization, I basically gave the government a lot of my money for free.  My own fault, and I won’t make that mistake again.

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Some of the things I have learned through the years that have helped me to stay on TOP of my finances and keeping them organized:

Keep Track of what you do.  If you go to Goodwill and make a donation, jot a note on the calendar.  That way, you can check the calendar with your receipts and you’ll know if something is missing from your file.  If you donate at church, but don’t attend weekly, mark those dates on the calendar as well.  That way, if you didn’t write a check for whatever reason, you have a note on the calendar to jar your memory.

Keep Files.  If something is going to impact your taxes, make a file for it and be diligent about adding the papers as soon as possible.  You’ll be so happy to have everything all together when it’s time to prepare those taxes!

 Ask Questions: Ask your accountant or whomever helps you prepare your taxes if is anything else you can be doing to stay on top of things and be organized- and proactive.

Have a designated spot: Don’t just have a file for taxes. Have a box or specific area of your file cabinet FOR your tax folders.  Label them clearly.  As you get receipts and papers, put them into their folders.  Doing this all year as they come in means a lot less hunting and scrambling come tax time.

 Another way you can be organized is by having your tax return load directly onto a Visa Prepaid card.  While this may not be something to do before you prepare your taxes, it will ensure that the return money is available for your use very quickly and there is no risk on your part thanks to Visa’s “zero liability” policy– so even if you lose that card (likely for me) or it is stolen, you can be assured your funds are safe.  BUT part of being organized is knowing that account number and the routing number for your Visa Prepaid card so that you can give it to the tax preparer when you do file your taxes!

To help people get ready for tax season, Visa has created the Know Your Numbers instant win game, where you can play for a chance to win a tablet PC or $15.00 Visa Gift card while learning about the importance of knowing one’s accounting and routing numbers. You can enter daily (I haven’t won yet but I’m going to keep trying!) Each time you  play you have the opportunity to share the contest on Twitter and Facebook – which gives you an entry to win the grand prize of a $2,000 Visa Gift card.

visa know your numbers game

 

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Prepaid and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Discover more at http://www.VisaPrepaid.com or join the Visa Prepaid community at http://www.facebook.com/VisaPrepaid.

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

74 comments… add one

  • I am super organized with our finances, this year is a bit different since I have a job that doesn’t meet regular tax laws!

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  • I’m very proud of your honesty and strict efforts! Getting out of debt is no fun whatsoever, but in another way it makes you feel good when you finally achieve control over your finances! Atta girl <3
    As for moi, I cut up the stupid credit cards lol, no more for ME!
    Plus, my daughter is an accountant and she runs a tight ship ;)

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  • I try to run a very tight budget here. I only use credit cards once or twice a year and pay the bill right away. At the end of the year my husband splits the money we get from our returns and we get to do what we want with it. I don’t know if I would like putting it on a visa card or not. It’s something to think about though.

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  • We are in a ton of debt and are beginning to work on fixing that. I have a huge Excel spreadsheet that helps get us organized.

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  • Fantastic tips! I want to win that 2K!
    I am fairly organized with my money and never had debt other than cars and school loans, but even THAT can be hard to stay on top of if you don’t pay attention. I know having kids I have gotten more disorganized than I was before so these are great ideas for getting me back on track! Also I use Quicken software which helps me plan and track things! :)

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  • My new Year’s resolution is to get all of our paperwork and finances organized!

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  • We are rotten recordkeepers, well with paperwork anyway. My husband keeps a pile accumulating all year on his dresser. And then some other papers for the farm. We need to do more by computer but are afraid of hackers.

    We are not able to donate much but do keep track of it. We are lucky when we do donate with a payment, we have a way to have our expenditures catagorized. That’s nice

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  • I have an Inbox for bills. I write them on the calender (on my fridge). After they are paid I have an accordion folder they go in that is labeled. I also have an accordion folder that I keep past tax returns in. I have an accordion folder to check stubs (we had a mishap one year for a w-2 so, we save all check stubs, now)

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  • I keep a sheet that has the date, check number and amount of any bill that is paid, and keep my checking account balanced.

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  • I AM TERRIABLE AT FINACES AND I DID NOT WIN!!!!!!

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  • Thanks for the tips. My husband has a file system that he keeps very organized. We keep it up to date all year so that when tax time comes we are ready. In fact he has already started going through it to prepare for this year.

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  • Great tips. I also keep a big file with slots for everything – I try to always file things as soon as I get them, but always make sure once a week to go through the house/my purses, etc. for receipts or anything else that might need filing – it’s so less stressful to have things organized come tax time – and once you get into the habit, it’s a breeze.

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  • great tips- I have GOT to get more organized this year!

    bummer i wasnt an instant winner!

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  • try to keep organized between files and the computer. Thankyou, Ken

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  • These are great tips, I have been making a huge effort to be more organized at record keeping this year particularly with charity donations.

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  • All for organization, but not sold on the idea of prepaid cards!

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  • I file them….I pay the bill as soon as I get it

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

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  • These are good tips. I’m not great at keeping my important papers organized. Fortunately my husband is. :)

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  • I usually am a last minute shopper lol I just wing it a few days before Christmas. Now that I have a child of my own I will have to step it up a bit though :)

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  • I am not too good at keeping all my finances in order. I gave up balancing a checkbook a long time ago. I just check my balance often online.

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  • Reply
    • Please delete this comment—wrong post!

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  • I have not done a good job in the past of being prepared for taxes–I come with our W2’s in hand but that’s about it. I am thankful for your tips and I am definitely going to ask our accountant what we can do through the year to make sure we are staying on top of things. Thanks for this helpful post on finances and taxes!! :)

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  • I am organized but not well enough when it comes to our financial documents because I’ve changed my method (halfway) multiple times…I am determined to sit down and work it out before our first little bundle of joy arrives in 7 weeks though. Wish me luck–I”m sure some of these tips will come in handy! :)

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  • Thanks for the heads up! Hoping I win something there :)

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  • I have a list from each member of the family. Then I go shopping to find the gift that fits the budget and the best price.

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  • I try to keep organized with files,etc.

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  • As soon as a paper for taxes comes in it goes in the file envelope in the lock box

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  • I need to buckle down and re do our budget. We’ve (I’ve) been slacking and wasting way too much money. I’ve been lazy and letting hubby deal with (waste) the money. Thanks for the info!

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  • Great tips, and ones I am trying to instill in my young adult kids. Better to get a good solid grasp on finances-management and organization early.

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  • I try to keep things organized – as soon as I get something related to taxes I put it with all the other papers in one special place.

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  • If I ever get a tax refund, I will die of shock. Then when I revive, I might consider the pre-loaded card. LOL! :) Very solid tips, it’s so important to be prepared and keep track for tax time. I can’t believe it’s almost that time again!

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    • Oh, and thanks for the sweepstakes link, totally entering that!

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  • I could certainly use some help in this area! Thanks for the great tips!

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  • Thanks for great tips. I always try to keep tracks and stay organized.

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  • Thank you for these great tips! Keeping track of all my expenses is so important! I keep track of my donations to various charities, and make sure to take all my deductions when filing taxes!

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  • Thank you for the tips! I always try to stay organized, especially when it comes to tax preparation

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  • I’m a big believer in staying organized for the IRS and accountant. Everything I spend gets entered into a spread sheet so that my costs and income can be easily seen and analyzed at any given time throughout the year.

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  • I’m so filled with dread over getting ready for tax time again! I’m going to go play the game and take my mind off of it!

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  • Thanks for the tips. If only people were taught and educated about debt at an early age, I truly believe high school should have a required finance class for students to take to help them avoid these kind of issues.

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  • Debt is the worst! Great tips!

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  • These are great tips. Debt is scary and overwhelming. It’s good to keep these things in mind and put them into practice. This instant win game sounds fun!

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  • ::leaving a relevant comment here:::

    We aren’t very organized, but last year I did get a used filing cabinet and try to keep all our tax records the. Hopefully this tax season it will help!

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  • Those are good tips, Brett. I know how it is to be in debt. We are still in debt from some medical bills but are hoping to get them out of the way soon.

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  • I always stay organized in everything. I can’t think straight, if I don’t.

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  • Being organized is so very important! Having everything in files makes things much easier!

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  • I was in debt once, many years ago, and finally surface from it. It is stressful.

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  • Financial organizing is a serious weakness for me. I like the tip about jotting down donations on a calendar–I often give to Goodwill and other organizations, and it never occurs to me at the time to make a note or keep a receipt.

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  • Staying organized is really important. Thanks for the tips!

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  • Getting out of debt is one of the best things I ever did!

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  • Great tips! I usually just put everything together but separating them would be better. Thanks

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  • Well it’s good your able to admit it. I learned from my parents they were in a lot of debt and I told myself I would never do it to myself because I saw just how much they stressed over it. These are great tips!

    Reply

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