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Organizing Those Important Papers

BOSTON (CBS) - You know the routine here, you move your stuff from one place to the next and maybe back again when you need the dining room table.

All of that stuff that comes in the mail each day that you do open but are too busy to put away so it ends up in a pile. Could be bills, bank statements, or financial accounts, magazine subscriptions, medical insurance paperwork. Stuff you are planning to deal with later.

Let's talk about the bills first. If you are getting charged late fees because once you open your bills you forget about them; consider setting up a system where the unpaid bills go into a folder and you sit down twice a month to pay them. Once you open the bill, review it and take it physically to the folder and tuck it in there. Don't leave them sitting on the kitchen counter.

Schedule a time on your calendar to pay the bills just like you do haircuts or dentist appointments. The 4th and 20th works for me.

Consider banking online. Many of your monthly expenses may be the same every month, mortgage, rent, insurance, or school loan so these are easy. You have the bank automatically send the payment in each month.

Consider using your credit card to pay your bills on time. I have as many monthly bills automatically charged to my credit card as I can. I charge all my telephone services, the oil company, cable and Internet connections.

I also charge almost everything I purchase including my groceries, doctor's co-pays and gas. For one thing, it is convenient and at the end of the month, I have a tally of my expenses.

I get one bill and write one check. By doing this I have cut down the number of monthly checks on average to four and I have lots of frequent flyer miles.

Take the time to set up a system and you'll never be late again!


You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee's Money Matters newsletter here.

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