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Investing Specialists

5 Best Practices for an Organized Financial Life

Implementing the right systems can help keep valuable financial records safe, accessible, and organized.

Tax season has a way of reminding all of us of our shortcomings in the record-keeping department. Try as we might to stash all our relevant tax documents in a single spot, there are inevitably mislaid 1099s, missing receipts for charitable contributions, and last-minute forays into investment providers' websites to unearth when, exactly, we made that last IRA contribution. Such frustrations are inevitably accompanied by a vow to get organized, once and for all.

Because oversaving documents is a key pitfall for even well-organized people, last week I wrote about how to know which documents you should save and which you can safely get rid of. Culling financial paperwork is an excellent first step, but don't stop there. What follows are some best practices for staying organized on an ongoing basis.