Starting out

on Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Starting out means many different things for us. We are just starting out as parents, newlyweds, bloggers, joining our personal finances and our careers. To do this we are looking to various sources for help.

This past weekend I started to get our personal finance paperwork organized. My parents handed down a working but banged up filing cabinet. (a pocket friendly win right there) While at the store picking up baby supplies for the month we picked up file folders and started to get busy on getting organized.

This was a much bigger task than anticipated. Many thoughts all ran around in my head. I had no idea which papers when in what folder. If I organized it my way would S disagree? Do I put all debt in one folder with subfolders? I just had no idea I would be so overwhelmed. Where did I start... by organizing our huge pile of receipts, bills, pay stubs, O's pictures, bank statements in to separate piles. I got a little information from Life Hacker. This site helped with category organization. I used the Bank: HSBC and Bank: WAMU(now Chase) method. It seemed more organized than to just put "Bank Accounts" and then all the statements in the same folder. Our very first folder in the drawer is labeled EMERGENCY! and this is the folder we'd go to if we had a family emergency. We will get to that more on another day. It is a good idea to have this information in a safe place.

My next problem so to say was how long to keep all these documents. For this I headed over to Organizing Family Records and Documents by Sarah Aguirre from This website has a ton of information on what to keep permanently, temporarily, and papers to toss. With the advice of this article I was able to toss a bunch.

I'm still not sure if I'm happy the way the cabinet is organized or if I'll end up reorganizing it later on but for now it will work and we will use it.