Keeping Your Finances Organized - The Financial File Box
You're responsible for handling your own money - and that requires some organization on your part. One way to start is by setting up a "financial file box."
- You'll need: a large file box for letter-sized files, 25+ letter-sized manila file folders with tabs, a red marker, and a black marker.
- Get six file folders, and using your red marker, write in the tab sections: BILLS, BANK STATEMENTS, FINANCIAL AID, INSURANCE POLICIES, RECEIPTS/WARRANTIES, and TAXES/INCOME.
- Place the red-marked file folders in your file box - these will be your divider folders. Then, break out your black marker and start sub-dividing your sections.
- After your BILLS divider folder, insert a folder marked UNPAID, one marked for each quarter: Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sept, and Oct-Dec. Fill each file appropriately.
- After your BANK STATEMENTS divider folder, mark and insert a folder for each quarter. Fill each file.
- After your FINANCIAL AID divider folder, insert a folder marked scholarships, one marked grants, and one marked loans. Fill each file.
- Use your INSURANCE POLICIES folder to hold all of your policies.
- After RECEIPTS/WARRANTIES, add a file marked home items, one marked car, one marked personal items. Fill each file.
- After your TAXES/INCOME divider folder, mark and insert a folder for each quarter, and one marked annual with the year on it. Fill each file with paystubs, W-2s, etc.
Add any other important papers you feel are worth keeping. But be sure to store your financial file box in a safe place. Your information is very valuable!
The College Student's Monthly Budget Worksheet
To get control over your finances, develop a budget. Our handy calculator can help you estimate your monthly income versus monthly expenses to see what you have to work with. It's important to know when your bills are due and always pay them on time or earlier. If not, you can damage your credit and incur extra late fees.
This information is intended to be helpful as general guidance, but is not warranted and is not presented as tax, accounting, or legal advice. Individual situations will differ; please consult an appropriate advisor.