One thing that drives my sister nuts about my current personal finance-obsessed phase is how I need to track everything. Like every single cent that comes in and out of my many pockets. I record when payments get made, receipt numbers. I track net worth. But I can’t help it, maybe I am a little too OCD in this respect and love Excel a little too much, but it is really fun for me. It actually feels like a hobby to me. It doesn’t take that much time anyway, 5 minutes everyday and about an hour or so end of the month.
I also pay most of my bills online the moment I get them. Never missed a single one yet since I started doing this. I also don’t automate my bill payment except for insurance payments and saving plan deposits. I think automated payment is one of the easiest ways to stop paying attention and lose control.
About a year back, I also decided to make a digital back up of all my documents, that includes all bills/payments/reports/records….everything. The project took about 4 weeks of intense scanning every night and weekend. Just when I thought I got things done, and prepared to copy the information from my PC to a separate hard disk for double back-up, my PC decided to act up. I had to reformat everything and lost all my scans. I spent another four weeks rescanning everything. But these days, I have everything on file, and I scan important mail the very day I get it.
My sister is absolutely disgusted yet simultaneously awed at my perseverance for organisation. She says only someone with no life can afford the time to do everything I do. I think I may be leaning towards the extreme side, but then I really never have to worry about anything going wrong. It has also given me the confidence to go ahead and do things like commit to a 1.5 million condominium apartment. And when you have all your records at your fingertips, the entire purchase process went like a dream.
On the whole, I enjoy the whole financial upkeep process so much I actually offered to do it for my sister. I wonder if there is a market for such services? Oh wait….yes there is….they are called Accountants.
Maybe I am in the wrong field after all.