-By Margo Ratafia
Many people procrastinate updating and analyzing their expenses for family budgets, preparing their tax returns or even balancing their checkbooks. People avoid this task because they don’t know how to simplify the process and they find this type of task to be boring and a complete drag. So they find themselves with an unbalanced checkbook, no idea where they spent their money and at a loss on how to organize themselves financially.
Fortunately, this process can be made easy with minimum cost and effort. If you follow these few simple steps you will have your finances organized quickly and efficiently.
1. Set up a checking account with a bank that has on-line banking.
2. Your bank should have the ability to download your information to a software program such as QuickBooks or Quicken.
3. QuickBooks or Quicken can be purchased and installed on your home desktop or laptop (even a Tablet PC) or you can use the online version of the same programs.
4. Once a month you can log on to your banks website and download all of your banking transactions for the month directly into the software program.
5. Once you download the banking information all you need to do is tell the program the type of expense it is such as telephone or utilities and you’re done.
6. Once you tell the program that Con Ed checks go to “utilities” the program will remember it so you do not have to do it again from scratch next month.
Voila, you will have a balanced checkbook, reports available for your financial advisors, accountants or a spouse who wants to know where all your money went.
So stop procrastinating, within an hour or two you can have a summary of your monthly expenses at your fingertips!
For more information about this and other financial questions, email Margo Ratafia CPA, PC