Friday, July 11, 2008

Mid-Year Financial Checkup

Now that the year is more than half over its a good idea to do a Mid-Year financial checkup:

1. Go over all your bills to see which ones you can stop altogether or which ones have charges you can get rid of. I am in the process of doing this. Mid year and January are my usual times to try to become more financially fit. (and physically fit!!)

I have turned my kitchen table into a temporary desk by pulling out all our bills, a calculator and bringing the phone in there. I'm going to list on a legal pad all our bills, the amounts due and due dates. Then I'm going to go over each one with a fine tooth comb to see which ones can be reduced, eliminated or fine-tuned.

I started this yesterday by working on our phone bill and one other bill. I made a couple of calls, reduced some minutes and an interest rate and feel pretty good about it. Little charges add up over time and seem to creep in there without our really noticing it.

I plan to work on this more this weekend and the coming week.

2. I also intend to work on our budget. I've already been thinking about how much gas we use each week. $80.00 to $100.00 a week!!!! YIKES! AAARRRGH!!! I'm sure the figures most of us allowed for gas and food have changed since January 1st! Any money saved in Number 1. above may be reallocated to gas and food.

3. Its not too early to be thinking about 2008 taxes. Yuck! But, having these things organized as you go along is so much better than waiting til the last minute next April. It could be as simple as just setting up a file to put deductible receipts in or a more complicated filing system if your deductions are more complicated. I'm filing 2008 deductible receipts in a file that says "2007" on it. Gotta fix that!

4. While you are into this you could declutter some papers! I know I need to! This would be a good thing to work on during the July Decluttering Challenge I posted about here. Maybe I could show some before and after pictures of this next week. (if my camera is working) I'd love to see any before and after pictures you have of decluttered desks, filing areas and paper stashes!

For more Frugal Friday tips please visit Biblical Womanhood.


Mary Ann said...

I've been working on filing and decluttering this week. It's great to get papers organized again.

Since January, our gasoline budget has doubled! Ouch!!

Patty said...

We are under control budget wise but #4 is one that is a constant problem. So many pieces of paper. I am sure they multiply at night. In winter we simply toss stuff into the woodstove but in warm months, the paper just seems to collect a bit.

Mom2fur said...

I've been reorganizing my bills lately, too. I read a great idea (I think via "Works for Me Wednesday") where you put bills in protective sleeves in a binder. Each sleeve holds one set of bills--the phone bill, for example. I'm trying to put them in an order, newest on top. If it's in there, it's paid--and it will be a lot easier to find them if I need them.
Sadly, there's nothing I can really get rid of. When Child Services finally gets around to paying me for babysitting my neighbors child over the past 3 months, I'll get a nice, fat check. My plan is to put a third of it in a CD in case I need it for taxes next year, and all the rest goes into a credit card. But you know the government and money...don't hold your breath.
BTW, if I didn't say so already, thanks for the nice comment on the little outfit I made!

Mom2fur said...

One more thing: paper clutter. What is it with all the stupid advertisements and inserts in envelopes? I told my husband my stress level would fall about 30% if they'd just-stop-putting-those-in-there!!!!
Might save a tree or two, too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
I have been doing the same thing this week. I have a pattern to drop in the mail to you this week. I just know it is something you will want to make for for your shop. How is mama? i will try and call you soon.

Stace' said...

I've been a lurker for months.

I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

Funny, I've been doing a mid-year financial tune-up here too.


Audra Krell said...

I've never thought of a mid year financial tune-up before. What a great idea! It's also good to go over the bills in detail, just to make sure you're not being charged for things you don't want or didn't buy.

Melinda said...

That is a good idea to go over the bills to find hidden charges you can live without. I'll have to look into that.

I agree with mom2fur about the junk mail. Especially when I have to shred the dozens of credit card offers we receive on a weekly basis!

Dianne said...

A mid-year financial checkup...good idea. I hadn't thought of that.

Since we are older, we really don't have any debt, Praise the Lord!

But it would also be a good idea to think of ways that you could trim your budget since we are on Social Security. Ways to cut down on those expenses that you do have like finding cheaper rates for phone bills, cutting down on use of air conditioning and heat, spending less at the grocery store, etc.

Thanks for sharing your ideas. It is always a good idea to take store of your resources from time to time to see if your spending more than you need to.

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