Record Keeping Suggestions

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Record Keeping Suggestions
14
Fri, 12-09-2011 - 7:06pm

I'm still a newbie, and I have another question for you wise ones . . .

What do you do for record keeping?

I need a good and easy system.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 6:25am

Hi bumbling along,

Oh boy,

Kate


empty purse

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 9:39am

Oh, I'm going to embarrass myself probably with my rudimentary record keeping, but one thing I do is keeping track of my weekly spending. So I put the receipts in a box, and at the end of the week I add up the numbers and put them in a spreadsheet (this way I can see how much I've spent for groceries, how much for gas, how much for fun).

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 3:51pm

Small Change.

Thank you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 5:34pm

Poorboy2011, that is a great plan. I'm assuming you likely keep the receipts for the big-ticket items that have warranties. In a sense, you are converting the data that you want from the paper receipts into electronic format and then you are weeding the transitory information on a weekly basis. Good work!!

My only advice for you would be to make sure you're keeping track of any of the expenses whereby you didn't get a receipt. And make sure you don't fall too far behind in your processing of the receipts, otherwise the box may overflow and the job of inputting it will become overwhelming.

It reminds me of an information management story about the OJ Simpson trial. In Marcia Clark's book "Without a doubt" she talks about how the defense team used a ploy to overwhelm her prosecution team. The defense team knew the prosecution team didn't have a lot of manpower or the public budget to hire a big staff, so they inundated them with paperwork to keep them busy. At the same time, the prosecution team was also inundated with letters from the public. They couldn't keep up with processing all of the information, so the tactic they used was to box the letters from the public and place the boxes aside until after the trial. In a sense, you're doing something similar: you're boxing it until you have time to get to it.

Unfortunately for the prosecution team, unlike you PB2011, they didn't always know what information was in the boxes. Unbeknownst to them, somewhere in one of those boxes they had stored in a utilitiy closet was a letter and some photo's from a journalist. The journalist had been covering a sporting event a number of months prior to the murder and had photo's of OJ wearing the Bruno Magli shoes. They didn't discover it until after the trial.

Ah, see how important good recordkeeping is?

Kate


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 6:24pm

Hi again bumblingalong,

LOL, it sounds like your husband is just like Jackie Kennedy!!

Kate


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2005
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 9:29pm
When I buy sometime like a camera, appliance, etc that has a warranty, I staple the receipt to the manual and put it in a file (small appliances, large appliance, kids stuff, electronics, etc). I periodically (try to shoot for annually) review the file and toss/recycle the paperwork for stuff we no longer have.

Other than that I shove all my receipts for a given month in a 8.5 x 5.5 envelope with the month on it...I keep them for a year. Then toss and reuse...so my Dec 2011 receipts are going in the old Dec 2010 envelope I just emptied.

I don't save many billing statements unless I need to verify something (like a rate change) on the next one. Most of them I either get online (and don't even have a paper copy) or I can access a copy online.

Jennifer


 


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 2:57pm

First of all, thank you Kate for so many good ideas!

Bumbling, I am somewhat like your DH.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 3:02pm
OMG Kate, that was amazing. Can you come to my house and help analyze - NO I mean really! I would pay you - dental care for a year! I am just south across the border?
I honestly, for the first time in my life, am so overcome by paper that I have 2-3 years of papers in my file drawers, filed by bill neatly, and one year in a box on the floor - the box being just piles of papers in there this past year. I need to declutter it all!!
(MY 2012 January goal!)
#Marie
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 9:31pm
Kate, This is awesome information! Have you ever thought of a little second job where you go into people's homes and help them get organized? (or stay organized?) If you got your car snd didn't spend so much time on the bus, would that free up five - ten hours a month to try this? Would the extra income fill any possible car funding gap? My grandmother saved everything - and although a lot was really interesting there is no way to know whether we threw away more interesting stuff than we kept, because there was so much. But what made it down to me is so interesting - v mail from WW2, ration books from the depression, tantalizingly interesting letters. My mom's birthday was Aug 6 - her seventeenth birthday was when Hiroshima was bombed. She always talked about where she was that day, visiting relatives, snd how when she heard the news, she just wanted to go home. In her things I found a pennypostcard post marked Aug 6, 1945 - it was obviously sent before she heard the news, but it is eerie. I am going to have it framed with her high school graduation picture as a gift to one of my nephews. But she was not a saver - her paperwork was left in impeccable order - files labeled, everything filed. I am so grateful to her for that as there is a lot to deal with and at least this part is easy. She used to visit me for several weeks each winter, and she liked to keep busy although she wasn't too mobile. She shredded a ton of stuff for me - I miss her for a million reasons and that is a small one. I am a 'keeper' but I live in a small space and I like things neat, so that forces me to periodically sort and toss. I will employ some of your ideas on some snowy January days. Thanks SJ
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Tue, 12-13-2011 - 3:24pm

Wow Kate!!

Thanks for all the great advice.

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