Master Your Money Bootcamp: 3 steps to organizing your online financial life
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Exercise 1: Track down all of your accounts and passwordsGone 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.
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?
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
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