Master Your Money Bootcamp: 3 steps to organizing your online financial life

Master Your Money Bootcamp: 3 steps to organizing your online financial life
Business Insider

Master Your Money Bootcamp: 3 steps to organizing your online financial life
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Welcome to the first week of the Master Your Money Bootcamp on demystifying your finances! This week we're focused on getting organized.

Exercise 1: Track down all of your accounts and passwords

Gone are the days of file folders filled with paper bank statements and balancing a (physical) checkbook. Most of your financial information is probably stored in your online bank and investment accounts - perhaps several them. You may even use other bill pay, budgeting, money-transfer, and expense-tracking apps, too. Oh, and don't forget about your payroll portal.
It's not uncommon to have a dozen or more different accounts for your money with various usernames, passwords, and security questions. Unless you have superhuman recall, having to dig up login info can make it difficult to check even the smallest task off your to-do list.

The goal for this week: To compile all your digital login information for each financial account into one easily accessible database.

A password manager, such as LastPass, can keep your data safe and make logging in across your devices virtually seamless. But if you find it confusing or you want to forgo the small fee, a password-protected spreadsheet will work just fine.

3 steps to organizing your online financial life

1. Write down all the financial categories that apply to you:

    • Banking: You can split this into checking and savings, if they're held at separate banks
    • Credit: This may be the same as your primary bank
    • Investments: Brokerage account(s) and retirement account(s)
    • Insurance: Health, auto, renters, homeowners, life
    • Payroll: The portal where you access your paystub and any other information related to your job
    • Taxes: The software provider you use to prepare your tax return or the digital bookkeeper you use for your small business
    • Debt: Mortgage, student loans, personal loans, auto loans
    • Budgeting: Do you use any apps to track your spending or create a budget?
    • Payments: Do you use any apps, like Venmo, Cash App, or Zelle, to send money?
2. Go through each category and write down the financial companies you use that fall under each one. For example, Allstate goes under Insurance and PayPal goes under Payments. 3. Finally, for each company, write down the username and password and any other necessary information required to sign in to your account online.

Tip: Don't be afraid to tidy up. Spot an account you haven't logged into in ages? Cancel it. This task is as much about organizing as it is about decluttering.

As a reminder, here's what you'll accomplish in this month's Bootcamp (we'll link to each exercise as it goes live):

Master Your Money Bootcamp: Demystify your finances

  • Exercise 1: Track down all of your accounts and passwords
  • Exercise 2: Figure out how much you owe, to whom, and at what price
  • Exercise 3: Calculate your net worth
  • Exercise 4: Decide on a system to keep things easy from now on
  • Virtual Live Event: Credit and debt
For each exercise, you'll get a detailed explanation of how to complete it and why it's important. Use the hashtags #MasterYourMoney and #MasterYourMoneyBootcamp to share your thoughts, progress, and connect with others across our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram as you make your way through each exercise, then join us for the live events.