Organizing your bills in 2010 – continued –

After posting my last post I realized that all your papers from the past few years may need organized. This would be the case if you are trying to get a loan for a home or something else or maybe you need them for certain tax purposes. In any case just fix some more folders in the same way as discribed in the previous post.

HOW DO I BEGIN:

If your overwhelmed with so many bills, documents and other papers, don’t fret.

1. Go ahead and make your folders using the method in the previous post and by putting the year on the tabs.
2. Organize all your file folders in the order that you need them and by years.
3. Put all your orgainized empty file folders in what ever you have to stand them in – decorated box, expandable file, plastic file box or file cabinet.
4. Grab a medium or small box or a grocery bag and a trash can.
5. Don’t bother about gathering up ALL the bills, documents and other papers, that you need organized, at once. They’re probably scattered from here and there.
6. Just pick one location where you have a pile and fill your box or grocery bag up with them.
7. Now take one paper out at a time, making sure you unfold it, and put it in the file folder that it belongs in.

NOTE: There’s no need to save the envelopes or extra papers that come in with bills, etc. throw these in the trash can. They are just a waste of space and their trash. When your done you can take all this extra baggage to the paper recycling bin.

Organizing your bills in 2010

Ok, it’s a little late but we need to get our paper files organized for 2010.

I’m not good at writing articles but like to share useful material. So I guess if you’re reading this you realize that you’re tired of having such a bad paper mess at home and tired of not being able to find anything when you need it.

WHAT I NEED TO GET STARTED:

A few pieces of letter size paper
1 box of letter size file folders
1 pen or pencil

Something to put your file folders in.

Depending on how many file folders you have will depend on what you need to put them in. Some suggestions:

Any sort of box that the file folders will stand up in. You could decorate your own to match your decor.
Plastic or cardboard expandable file pockets (file folders not needed)
Plastic file box
File cabinet

1. Make a list of all your weekly bills, bi-monthly bills, monthly bills and yearly bills in no certain order.

My list was simple. Yours might be a lot lengthier or it could be shorter.

Here’s mine (a sample list), some of my bills are grouped because that’s the way we pay them. Where you live it might be different:

Rent
Electric (includes water, sewage, and sanitation)
Charter (home phone, internet, and cable)
Insurance (auto)
Doctor’s bills
Lawnmower
Storage shed

Other types of bills you might have:

Mortgage payment
Water/sewage bill
Gas heat bill
Phone bill
Cell phone bill
Cable bill
Internet bill
House insurance
Renters insurance
Health insurance
Property taxes
IRS taxes owed
Sanitation bill
Monthly prescriptions
Monthly co pays
Day care
Child support
Alimony
Auto payment (a file folder for each auto payment)
Loan Company (a file folder for each loan company)
Credit card Company (a file folder for each credit card company)
Magazine subscription (a file folder for each magazine subscription)
Membership (a file folder for each membership)

2. Make a list of file folders that you will need to file other documents in:

Here is mine (another sample list):

Bank
Husband’s income (includes health, dental, vision insurance, child support)
My income
Personal important documents (birth certificates, social security cards for children, etc.)
Husband’s work
My work
Child support office
House maintenance
Miscellaneous
Warranties
Husband’s truck
My car
2010 Taxes

Other types of file folders you might need:

Home improvements
Grocery Receipts
Coupons
Eating outs
Computer expenses
Hobbies
Vacations
Pets (a file folder for each pet)
Investment (a file folder for each investment)
Savings (a file folder for each savings)
Child’s school (a file folder for each child)
Child’s art work (a file folder for each child)
Grooming (a file folder for each grooming need)
Christmas wish lists (don’t forget to put a list of clothes/shoe sizes in this file folder)

3. Now you have a choice of putting your file folders in alphabetical order or in groups. I find it is easier and faster to find what you need if you put your file folders in groups instead of alphabetical order. Then in order of importance.

Just get a clean piece of paper and using the list you just made, make another list grouping the file folders you will need as described below.

The first group of file folders has not been listed yet. They are two file folders that everyone needs.

Bills to pay
Things to do

You will have two file folders in front of your file box, etc. with these two subjects labeled on the tabs.

Instead of laying bills, papers, documents down on the table shove them in “Bills to Pay” or the “Things to do” file folders. File the bills in the correct file folders the day you pay them or stick them in the “Things to do” file folder and file them while watching TV or in your spare time.

Put school papers, honey do lists and everything else you have to do in the “Things to do” file folder and refer to it daily if you have to. Don’t leave these file folder out of their container so they can get lost. You could throw a calendar off in this file folder to if you wanted.

Another file folder you might want to have in your first group would be “Old Bills”. This would be for delinquent bills that you have and might need to spend at least $20.00 a month on each until they are all paid off.

Your second group of file folders will be your money group. You have to have money to pay all the bills so you should file those file folders next.

This group will include all your file folders for banks, investments and work related.

Here is mine (another sample list):

Bank
Husband’s income (check stubs)
My income (check stubs)
Husband’s work (work related papers, work schedules, booklets, etc.)
My work (work related papers, work schedules, booklets, etc.)

The third group of file folders will be the main bills for your main living expenses. Rent, mortgage payment, electric, heat, water. You’ll have to decide by your main list what are your main living expenses.

The fourth group of file folders will be your secondary bills. These would consist of insurance, doctor’s bills, co pays, monthly prescriptions, etc.

The fifth group would consist of your bills for automobiles, house maintenance, etc.

The sixth group would have file folders for loans, credit cards, etc. The bills you soon want to dispose of after they’re paid off.

The seventh group of file folders will be memberships, subscriptions, etc. Things of entertainment.

The eighth group and last will be file folders for miscellaneous and warranties, etc.

If you need more groups that’s fine. This article is just for your guide to organizing all your paper work and documents so when you need them you know where they are.

I hope this article has helped you and have a Happy and Blessed New Year!

Deborah

Save Money in the Kitchen

Save Money in the Kitchen
by Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper

For many people, cutting back on their grocery budgets can be an overwhelming experience. They know they’re spending too much, but don’t know where to begin to cut. Often, they fear that they will deprive themselves and their children if they become frugal. The good news is that there are ways to have your cake, eat it and save money at the same time. The whole secret is to start slowly. There are countless ways you can cut, but if you need to, target just one thing at a time – you will still be saving money if you do only one thing.

If you are a frugal beginner, try these simple suggestions for saving on your food bill:

  • Cooking frugally is like changing your diet. You need to learn gradually how to save money and cook frugally. Don’t expect that you will get your food bill down to $150 for four people in the first month if you are spending $600 a month right now.
  • Try cutting just $25.00 or $50.00 a month. Even if you cut back only $50.00 a month, you will save $600.00 a year. If you save just $1.00 a day that is $365.00 a year. You can then apply that $365.00 a year to paying off your credit cards. At 21 percent interest, you will save over $70 a year. This will eventually cause a snowball effect since the more you pay off, the less you pay to interest. When you pay less to interest, you have more each month to apply to paying off your overall debt. This means that as you pay off the debt, the rate that you can pay it off increases.
  • Before you shop, take a tour through your pantry and your refrigerator. Be organized! Don’t buy what’s already hiding in your kitchen.
  • If you’re a fan of coupons, remember this: It’s not what you save, it’s what you spend. If you save 30 cents on something you wouldn’t ordinarily buy anyway, you haven’t really saved anything.
  • A typical fruit item is significantly larger than one serving. Most people would be just as happy eating a small apple as eating a large one — so buy smaller fruits! You will save money by the pound.
  • This month, try two meatless meals a week (or one, if you’re a diehard meat fan).
  • Make simple meals. One-dish meals can contain your meat, your vegetable and your bread.
  • Drink water for your meals.
    • If your family is used to drinking milk, juice or pop for every meal then start by cutting juice from one meal or snack a day and drinking only water. After you get used to this, cut from another meal until you drink only water for meals and a glass of juice or milk at snack time.
    • You can also try allowing one glass of juice at meal times and then water after it is gone.
    • You save over $500.00 a year by cutting just one glass of juice per person per day for a family of four.
  • Don’t assume homemade is cheaper. If you get a VERY GOOD deal on chocolate chips and ingredients for candies, it is cheaper to make them than buying them pre-made. Make sure you do the calculations, though! If you don’t purchase them on sale, homemade candies can be more expensive than candies purchased at the store.
  • Stop wasting food. Give young children small portions. They can always have more if they are still hungry. Give them a half glass of juice and a half sandwich so you don’t waste uneaten food. Put food in the refrigerator right after the meal so it doesn’t spoil. Use leftovers for lunches, in other dishes or frozen in one portion sizes for a quick meal.
  • Don’t buy everything at one store.
    Prices vary greatly from one store to the next. Go to different stores to buy only their sale items. You will save more than the cost of your gas. It usually only takes half an hour to 45 minutes per store to get the items that are on sale including driving time. If you save a minimum of $20-$30 per trip, it is like “earning” $40-$60 an hour. If I save $60 spending one hour going to two different stores, it is five extra hours my husband does not have to work for us to pay for that same food purchased at the regular price. I would rather have him home with us.
  • Remember cooking frugally is a mind set. You have to change your cooking and eating habits. Don’t get discouraged if one idea fails. Try another one.
  • Stop buying things like toaster pastries and breakfast bars for breakfast. Eat oatmeal, pancakes, granola and fruit instead.
  • Don’t assume that bulk is cheaper. Compare cost by the ounce or pound.
  • Most people don’t think they can live the frugal life and still be comfortable. I feed my family of five on $250 per month. Over five years, when my husband earned an average of $22,000 per year, we paid off $20,000 debt. When cutting your grocery bill, it’s the little things that add up.

     

    CLICK HERE

    Christmas Rebates

    It’s Time For Christmas!! SAVE Money at 1000+ Stores you already shop at already, by recieving REBATES on EVERY PURCHASE you make, or on any purchase that anyone else makes, in YOUR own Power Mall.

    SAVE money on gas, your vehicle and your time. CLICK HERE. For Individuals, Business Owners and Non-Profit Organizations.

    You DO NOT have to get a World Changer Mall for $15.95 per month. You can get a FREE Personal or Business Mall.

    All you do is:

    1. Log in to the “Administration Login”. This will take you to your home page.

    2. You can type in what item you are wanting to shop for in the search bar for a product search, OR

    3. Click on the “Hot Deals” button, which will take you straight to exclusive great buys, OR

    4. Scroll down to the “Directory Search” and click on the departments of your choice, OR

    You will find departments for:

    Automotive, Beauty & Frangrances, Books/CD/DVD/Misc., Business/Office/Career, Clothing/Accessories, Computers/Electronics, Education & Family, Financial Services, Food & Drink, Heath & Personal Care, Home Living & Garden, Pets & Supplies, Speciality/Dept/Gift Stores, Sports & Fitness, Telecommunications, Travel, Web Services.

    5. Type in what store you want to shop at in the “Pick A Store” search bar, OR

    In the top TOOL BAR:

    6. Click on your “Shopping List” tab,

    7. Click on “Brand Name Stores” tab,

    8. Click on “Business Needs Stores” tab,

    9. Click on “Personal Needs Stores” tab,

    10. Click on “Favorite Stores” tab and more.

    You can CHECK OUT THE MALL by clicking here and then on “The Mall” in the top tool bar. Scroll down to middle of page and click on the BLUE banner that reads “Click Here To Visit My Power Mall”. On this page you can experience and see everything that I have described above and experience shopping at My Power Mall.

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    Living On A Dime

    I personally use Menu’s On A Dime and Not Just Beans Cook Book and don’t know what I would do with out them.  Instead of Not Just Beans there is now Dining On A Dime which is packed with even more goodies than before.  

    Save $10,000 a year on food? Without cutting coupons! Unbelievable? Read Tawra Jean Kellam and Jill Cooper’s advice in their book: Dining on a Dime (formerly Not Just Beans) and find out that it really is possible.

    Tawra has told her story to millions of listeners and readers on the radio, on the web and in women’s magazines (including Woman’s Day and Woman’s World) and now she’s put her best tips and tricks into a 476 page book. Using these tips and suggestions, Tawra shows how anyone can tighten his or her food budget.

    Dining on a Dime is packed with over 1,200 money saving recipes and tips, kids tips and snack ideas, gift baskets, menus, food storage directions, Cleaning Cents and Pretty for Pennies. The recipes are easy to cook with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. To make shopping easy and economical, Tawra has also included a pantry list and a shopping list.

    • Did you know that dirty dishes cause debt? See page 385 and read how to save money just by doing the dishes.
    • Need fast snack ideas for hungry kids? Check out page 28.
    • Want to clean your bathroom in a flash? Check out page 398 for a 7-step plan.
    • Got leftovers in the fridge? Use them up!!! Dining on a Dime has a complete index of recipes using nothing but leftovers.
    • Drive right by the pricey gift basket boutique– Go home and make your own for pennies. Check out page 339 for ideas!
    • Need to cut down on meat? Tawra has pages of tips for eating better and spending less.
    • Need a specific money saving idea? Dining on a Dime has a special index just for tips.
    • Make three meals from one chicken? Yes, Dining on a Dime has this, too! (Page 176)

     

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