Money Records

Keep good Records
It is essential that you track your important papers. This means you have to ensure you have a good record keeping system in place.

" Keeping records can be a little cumbersome at times - but it's absolutely necessary ..."

Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Can you locate the tax returns you filed last year?
  • Do you have your tax number handy at all times?
  • Is your passport easily locatable and is it in a safe place.
  • Do you have a record of all the cheque books you used over the last few years?
  • Do you have addresses, phone numbers and other details of your family members with you at all times?
  • Do you know where to find your insurance policies?
  • Do you know where the warranties for the various home appliances are?
  • In the case of emergency or death, can you locate non-family members and family members quickly?
  • Do you have a record of your lawyer and accountant, so other family members can get in touch with them if necessary?
  • What would happen if your house burnt down and your insurance policies were lost with it?
  • Do you have back ups for family and personal information that is kept on your computer.

If you have answered no to more than two of these questions then you should make changes in your record keeping habits immediately. Keeping records is cumbersome at times but it is absolutely necessary.
Put a good system in place for all your important papers because it will save you time and money if something does happen.

Benefits from Good Recordkeeping
Some other benefits you will gain from organised record keeping are:

  • It is easier to find information on a day to day basis.
  • It provides security for some of your very important documents (such as passports).
  • It provides proof of any transactions you have been involved with (receipts etc).
  • It helps in handling any emergency situations.
  • It is easier to find names, addresses and phone numbers of family members, non-family members, doctors, lawyers etc.
  • It proves ownership where necessary.
  • You may have a fight with family inheritance or property so these can be proven by the proper legal papers.
  • For property settlement in a divorce. If you have good records it will be much easier to arrive at the figures that are fair to all the parties.

Mastering your Records
The best system for record keeping depends on the family. Certain decisions need to be made before you set up a system.

These include:

  1. Decide on a place to keep the records. Make sure this place is fireproof. It could mean putting all your papers into a steel filing cabinet, where they will be protected from disaster.

  2. Decide on the family members who will have the responsibility of looking after the records. This could be anyone in the family who is good in this area. This person will have the responsibility of ensuring that all the records are up to date and correct.

  3. Make sure specific times are set aside each week for updating all your bookkeeping and record keeping. Try and stick to it, if at all possible.