Too many credit cards? Do you really need that many? If you can’t justify having, close the account. Too many unmonitored accounts can be easy targets for ID thieves.
Credit reports from all three credit bureaus can be accessed for free once a year at annualcreditreport.com. Contact companies of accounts you want to close and have them write “Closed per account holder’s request” on your report. Closing credit accounts where there is a long history of on-time payments and a large amount of available but unused credit may have a negative effect on your credit score. But closing recently-opened department store cards, with low limits, should have little or no effect.
Make sure you have a list of all your credit cards, with contact information, pin numbers, etc. in the event your card is stolen or lost.
DISCLOSURE: I am not a financial expert, nor do I play one on TV. Consult with your financial adviser.
If you want to make more money and believe in the law of attraction, do you think you will attract more money if you can’t manage or don’t respect what you already have? Even if you don’t believe in the law of attraction, do you think you benefit from not knowing where all your money is?
How do you know your finances need to be better organized?
- Have you recently paid a bill late because you couldn’t find it?
- Do you have a list of all accounts, numbers, online IDs and passwords?
- Do you have all your credit card accounts with pins, passwords, etc.?
- Do you have wills, living wills and durable power of attorney documents?
- Do you have a specific financial plan for paying down debt and building savings?
- Do you have a list of all retirement accounts and life insurance policies, including beneficiaries?
- Do you know your credit score?
- Do you have a recent copy of your credit report?
- Can you quickly find all your policies (health, auto, etc.) to see if you can get a better rate?
What steps can you take today to get your finances better organized?
I cannot emphasize this enough: STOP JUNK MAIL BEFORE IT ENTERS YOUR HOME! I have helped clients sort through tons of junk mail. Why continue to waste time. Send a clear message to direct marketers to stop the junk!
Use their form to generate 17 ready-to-mail requests to different direct mail companies. DoNotMail will take the data you enter and create a PDF document with all 17 letters ready to print and send. http://donotmail.org/form.php?id=50
If you don’t want to enter your personal info into a random site, you can use fake data and then download the PDF document for a reference to create your own letters.
Contact Opt-Out Prescreen online https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t or at 1-888-567-8688 from your home telephone .
Email your removal request to Abacus Direct at email@example.com
Remove your name from ADVO Inc. by calling 1-888-241-6760 or completing the form at www.advo.com/consumersupport.html
Fill out the form on the Direct Marketing Association’s website at www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing
Email your removal request to Publishers Clearinghouse at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get off Val-Pak’s list by filing out the form at http://www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm
To remove yourself from Acxiom’s list, you must request a mail-in opt-out form by calling 1-877-774-2094
DoNotMail.com notes, “Catalogs may stop coming when your other removal requests are processed, but you can always call the catalog company.”
Other options if you want to pay someone to take care of it for you:
Of course, you can always use the paper next year, but if you are looking for some ways to be creative and help get organized here are some suggestions:
shred and use as packaging material;
wrap around recycled tin cans to store pens, pencils and scissors;
make a bookmark;
create decorative box labels and color code by subject;
use in a frame and hang it for a graphic touch;
protect your books;
construct napkin rings by cutting strips and wrapping around flatware for your next dinner party;
compose a card;
save it by ironing on low and rolling it back on the tube to reuse next year!
What other creative ideas do you have? Remember to try and make being green fun. Don’t think of it as a chore, but rather a way to be creativity and stretch your imagination while doing good for the planet.
I take a holistic approach with organizing and suggest people start with their mind. This means living in the present and not spending time in fear and anxiety. I consider this an important step in getting inside and outside organized. These questions by Geneen Roth are written on a whiteboard in my office and when making a decision I reflect on these questions.
1. Does it lead me toward a fuller life or confine me?
2. Does it bring me closer to my heart or take me further away?
3. Does it open me or close me?
4. Does it allow me to trust myself further or does it make me frightened of myself?
5. Does it enlarge my life or does it make my life smaller?
What are your priorities for the year?
What do you need to say no to or change?
AboutOne.com is an online family management system that helps busy families manage precious memories and household information. It was designed by moms for moms (and dads too!) to make managing information fast and fun. Most people are too busy to think about what information they should save for the future. But when a life event occurs, like having a baby, moving, changing jobs, going to a new doctor, you need access to information from your past. Sometimes you can remember the needed details, but more often you are frustrated about spending time and money trying to find information.
They have bank level security; it’s easy to use, and makes organizing paper & important documents a snap! It is very affordable and you can do a free trial demo. You can create newsletters, store client lists and keep track of all those home improvements. They have sections for health records as well as education information. Talk about being ready to roll when your kid applies to college!
You can start the New Year off using the software and add history at any point that you would like. As someone who has a box full of health records, this is a fantastic option!
Check out more here. Use HEALINGORG to save 10%!
Keep track of football games, shopping lists, and to do lists. All for free on this family online organizer accessible from the Web or any phone. You can even subscribe to school calendars to have events added for you:
For those of you that need a little more work from your friendly VA, I would like to recommend Angel Lebak. You can find out more about her services and her team here:
I would also like to recommend Collen Gray. You can find out more about her services here:
Worried about how to operate that electric thermometer for the turkey, but can’t find the manual?
If you are like me, and many of my clients, paper has to be constantly checked or you could be surrounded by it before you know it. Some people have a fear if they throw away the source they will also lose the knowledge. I have yet to not find what I need on the internet.
Here is a great site that has manuals. Instead of having to keep those bulky manuals, you should be able to locate even hard to find ones here:
You can create your own virtual filing cabinet for your self-support information. Here you can file, sort and store product details, create inventory catalogs, and monitor community discussions.
I know, I know! Thanksgiving isn’t even here and I am talking about getting started on your cards. With planning and organizing, you can avoid doing everything at the last minute. As someone who has had to help her mother do all her cards at the last second, I know how stressful and hectic it can be. I want you to help you avoid that.
These tasks can be done relatively quickly. Do when watching TV; or listening to music. I always suggest carrying everything in a tote so if you end up having to wait (at the doctor’s office, etc.) you can do something instead of getting frustrated. Try and get started on these and have most completed by Thanksgiving.
Go through your card list. If you haven’t created a master card list, now is a great time to get that in a spreadsheet, word document, etc. Really take the time to review. Do you really need to send a card to someone you haven’t kept in touch with for years? Who really loves and appreciates cards? Most elderly people do, so be sure to include them, even if you send e-mail cards. I suggest recycled cards made from a high post consumer content.
Update your address book/spreadsheet/e-mail list.
Print/collect return address labels.
Creating homemade cards? Get going!
Including photos/photo card? Pick and order.
Do a newsletter? Start a draft. Get the family involved so the burden isn’t with one person and make it fun!
Take one of your cards (or one similar to what you are doing i.e. with a photo, folded up newsletter, etc.) to the post office to make sure you have the correct postage. The last thing you want is returned cards!
Buy stamps at post office/online.
Part 2 and green alternatives coming shortly.