Video: Sort out your paperwork

Keep track of your bills

The most important part of managing your finances is making sure you pay your bills on time. If you miss a payment by even just one day, you face penalties and additional interest charges. This applies to debts as well as municipality bills and school fees. It also negatively impacts your credit rating.

Create a “life book”

A life book is a place where you store all your important documents. This should include things like:

  • Your latest bank statements and tax records
  • Retirement documentation
  • Investment policies
  • All your short-term insurance policies
  • Risk policies and long-term insurance policies
  • Your updated Last Will and Testament
  • Birth certificates
  • Medical details

Create a spreadsheet with details of all your investments, bank accounts and risk cover including product providers and account numbers so that there is a single piece of paper that records all your financial information so you don’t need to page through a folder each time you need the information. It makes it easier for your family if something happens to you.

In undertaking this exercise, it is not uncommon for people to discover policies or investments they have forgotten about. What more motivation do you need?

Update your beneficiaries

Whilst creating your life book, update your personal information, especially your beneficiaries on your retirement fund and life cover. Also check your will is still relevant.

Check your bank statements

Check your bank statement for any unauthorised debit orders. There has been an increase in the amount of unauthorised debit orders so you need to be vigilant.

Check account statements

If you have store cards you never use you may find that you charged fees like magazine clubs or card insurance. Rather than worry about unexpected fees, close your store cards or other credit facilities you never use.

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