Don’t let things get to the stage where you need to catch up. The more behind you fall, the less likely you are to have the motivation to catch up. After that, things just snowball. That’s what happen with my bills. I have a habit of keeping everything organized in Quicken, and I’m very religious about it. Down to the penny religious. Everything is categorized so I know exactly where my money is going. I keep things reconciled on a monthly, sometimes even weekly, basis. OK, so that’s what I had been doing.
During the last few months of last year, I spent endless days working on building my shed and basement. During that time, I decided to let the organization and reconciling slip. I told myself I’d catch up in January. Well now it’s May and I have 6 months of reconciling and catching up to do. It’s overwhelming because I have so many different things going on; 4 credit cards, 2 bank accounts, 2 savings accounts, 1 brokerage account, 2 life insurance policies, 3 houses (bills), 10 tenants (invoices), a web hosting business with 18 clients (invoices), and 5 consulting clients (invoices) that I need to bill on a regular basis.
As you can see, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. Once everything is caught up with, it takes maybe 20 – 30 minutes a day to keep things organized and running smoothly. On the other hand, since I let things fall so far behind, it’s going to take me days to get things organized again.
Learn my lesson: stay organized and don’t let things fall far behind. If you are falling behind, keep in mind, the sooner you start, the less work you’ll have later. This applies to many things. Keeping up with your workout schedule/diet, and saving money come to mind.