Oh the Woes of Tax Time – Fear Not, Get Organized and Breathe Easy
It’s tax time folks – there is no time to waste – you got to organize. There’s no better way to organize than to follow a proven method that will have those tax blues behind you while you spend the extra time doing the things you love. That’s why I wrote It’s Your Time, to help people believe in their own abilities to organize and gain more “fun” time.
It’s never too late to start preparing for taxes, and that includes next year’s taxes. Admittedly, putting taxes off till the last moment seems like a great idea until you are knee deep in a pile of receipts facing monumental deadlines. And most people do put off tax time until the last minute, which is why the UPSP mail drop boxes see lines more than a mile long come April 15. But, if you start now, you’ll be laughing at those procrastinators and spending your time doing something fun without the stress of tax deadlines.
Start by gathering all of those random receipts and categorizing them by month – use large manila envelopes. In fact, you can save those same envelopes for your 2005 receipts and start the process early. Create a file so you can tuck them away until you are ready for them. Create a system that fits your lifestyle – everyone has a unique way to organize, just make sure it’s not a large garbage bad stuffed into your kitchen cabinets. Now that you have everything arranged by date, it will be much easier to match up your receipts to your bank and credit card statements. A great way to stay ahead of the game is to utilize accounting software like QuickBooks or Quicken. This will allow you to easily print reports and track your expenses versus your income. Or, using an Excel spreadsheet is a great way to calculate your expenses by category.
Make the time. Incorporate this process into your bill paying time every month. Once you get started and see the time you have saved yourself, you will be more likely to continue to organize and prepare for next year so tax season becomes seamless, and shall we say – less taxing.
Why wait? Organize today and save time tomorrow.