Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Value of a Clean Financial House

Your financial house is just as important as your brick & mortar house. One financial expert has been quoted as saying that she can tell by the way a person's car looks what their finances look like.

Financial clutter can be harder to assess than pure physical clutter. You can see the excess toys, the books, the dishes that overflow the cupboards. But the only evidence of those superfluous accounts, those forgotten bonds, or that inadequete insurance are the pieces of mail that may (or in the case of bonds, may not) come into the mailbox every month.

Those of us who have extra trouble dealing with paperwork can be especially cursed by cluttered finances. Ever set up an online bank account only to later forget your password? Or lose that opening paperwork in the mass of bills, solicitations and magazines on your desk?

There is help out there! It can be a challenge, but taking the time to put your house of finances in order is crucial for your family's well-being.

Several new online services can help. First, of course, you need to know what you have and where it is. That can take some detective work. Once you have your accounts in hand, an online service such as Mint, Quicken Online or Wesabe can help you to see your whole financial picture and begin budgeting, or at least, tracking your expenses. See this article for more on these services.

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