Tales from the Wallet: How Do You Store Your Bills, Receipts, and More?

how to store billsHere’s today’s topic, ladies: What are your best tips on how to store bills and otherwise organize your paperwork? How do you deal with the mix of paperwork, electronic documents, emailed receipts, and more? I describe my own record keeping system below, but I thought it’d be fun to see what other people do… 

I was 15 or so the first time I remember my parents talking about how to store bills, receipts, and other kinds of paperwork. By that point I already had savings accounts, and my mother also opened some early credit cards for me at various stores (thank you, Mom!) to start building my credit report. But it was probably when I got my first job that we actually sat down and started to talk about how to store bills, as well as other record keeping tips. Back then, my parents gave me a big subdivided redweld and suggested that each entity that I got bills and statements from should get its own little pocket. So my bank statements went in one pocket, my lifeguarding check receipts went in another pocket, and then my Gap card statements (or wherever) went in a third pocket. It was all very, very organized. Oh, and every time I made a deposit at my bank (or a withdrawal) I was supposed to enter it in the little checkbook register.

These days, I’ve backslid pretty far from that initial system for record keeping — but it works for me and my family. Here’s how I store my bills (both electronic and paper):

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The 411 On FIRE: Financial Independence/Retire Early

financial independence retire early for beginnersI asked the Corporette FB group a while ago what financial resources people were loving, and a reader suggested we do a post on the FIRE movement — financial independence/retire early — so I asked Rebecca Berfanger to round up some great resources on the movement for beginners! Readers, have you considered retiring early as a serious goal? (Has anyone considered and rejected it as a goal?) What steps are you taking to make it happen — and what will you do once you quit? – Kat

Have you ever looked at your financial situation — income, investments, debt, and other factors — and wondered if you could retire comfortably in your 50s, or your 40s, or sooner? We took a look at the Financial Independence/Retire Early movement (FIRE), which emphasizes ways to achieve just what it says: true financial independence that comes from savings and investments that allow you to retire completely. Have you thought about retiring early? Do you have any ambitious retirement plans such as FIRE or other strategies? 

Psst: We’ve also talked about cash savings vs. retirement savings and retirement savings in general (as well as having a great discussion about how much women should save for retirement in general).

While FIRE will work differently for everyone, depending on how much your employer matches your retirement plan, how much you can afford to live on, and how much you can contribute to your 401k and other investments without a tax penalty, here’s a guide to Financial Independence/Retire Early for beginners:

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The Best Financial Books for Beginners

the best personal finance books for beginnersIt’s been YEARS since we’ve talked about the best personal finance books for newbies, so we figured today we’d discuss the best financial books for beginners. Paying off debt, saving for retirement, and managing your money in general can seem overly complicated and intimidating no matter what your age — but especially when you’re a young professional — and these books use simple rules and straightforward concepts to educate people who are new to personal finance. What is your favorite personal finance book (or blog, or magazine, or podcast)? What was the best advice you took from it? 

Psst: In the past, we’ve shared our money roadmap, offered financial tips for women lawyers, pondered how to make a budget, discussed the pros and cons of cash savings vs. retirement savings accounts as well as paying down debt vs. saving, and much more. We also included several recommendations for finance podcasts in our podcasts for working women post.

Here are six of the best financial books for beginners:best personal finance books for beginners - image of book covers including Get a Financial Life, You are a Badass at Making Money, You Need a Budget, The Financial Diet, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and The Total Money Makeover

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The 411 on How to Help Charities – How to Start Donating Money, Time, or Something Else

‘Tis the season to think bigger than yourself — and so I asked Kate to do a 411 for us on helping charities. Whether you’ve got a little or a lot to give, how can you start donating? What do you need to know? What research should you do ahead of time? (Readers, I’d love to hear from you — where do you donate annually, and then around this time of the year? Do you prefer to give to one organization or spread it out? How have you found organizations in the past?) – Kat

Psst: We’ve previously talked about strategic volunteering, how to get on a board, charitable giving for young professionals, and how to deal with pressure to donate money at the office.

Here are some ways to help charities, whether you want to donate money or time or something else:

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Co-Dependent or Budget Savvy: Family Cell Phone Plans, Shared Passwords, Help with the Rent, and Definitions of Adulting

adulting and family cell phone plansWe were talking recently in the Corporette Slack channel about people we knew who were still on the family cell phone plan as an adult — and considering we’ve seen so many news stories about different levels of this kind of co-dependence, from sharing passwords with family members to getting help with your rent, we thought it would be fun to have a bigger discussion about it here at Corporette. Thank you to Rebecca Berfanger for writing this for us — I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic! – Kat.

Readers, have you ever thought about whether you are independent–or co-dependent–when it comes to your expenses? Is part of your view of “adulting” to be 100% totally financially independent — or do you think it’s budget savvy to share passwords and family cell phone plans? Where is the line in your mind? If you’ve discussed this intimately with friends or partners, do you think you’re normal or on one end of the continuum? Do your parents or other friends or family members still financially support you in some way (mortgage, bills, transportation, housing) or do you always pay your own way? If you’re in a relationship, do you share a bank account? Are there some things you don’t mind sharing, like a family cell phone plan or passwords for your favorite source of entertainment?

In the first episode of Girls, Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath asks her parents for money so she can continue to live in her Brooklyn apartment. Sure, New York is very expensive, but it’s a good place for a writer to live so she can network and land a decent job in her field. Fair enough. Yet even though she seems to have a decent job, it is an unpaid internship with no guarantee of advancement. Depending on your personal situation, that conversation was relatable, cringe-inducing, or possibly both.

Here are few questions to consider:

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Tips for Women on How to Buy a Car

how to buy a car as a womanWhat has been your experience buying a car as a woman — and what shared wisdom can you impart to other women just setting out to buy a car? If you went to the dealership with a male significant other or friend, did the salesperson mostly speak with him while ignoring you? Did you feel like the salesperson was being condescending? Did the salesperson assume you didn’t know anything about cars (whether or not that’s true)? And if it is the the case (no judgment from this non–car expert!), did you feel like you were taken advantage of as a customer? Or, did you feel you weren’t treated differently as a woman, and everything went great?

With the 2018 car models now available in showrooms — and because the next two months are an excellent time to buy a car — we thought it’d be a great time to discuss how to buy a car. We haven’t had a lot of posts about car-buying (there have been many good discussions in threadjacks), although we’ve previously talked about the issue of whether to buy a fancy car to impress clients and, on our blog for working moms, we’ve talked about how to choose the best family car for you (Swagger Wagon, anyone?).

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