Creating a Home Directory
By Shannon M. Medisky
Anyone who believes in the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” will also agree that the best way to save money is by managing what you already have well. Without some kind of organization in place, this can be easier said than done. That’s where a home directory comes in handy.
Years ago when I was put on bed rest in my fourth month of pregnancy, I was left with many, many hours to sit and wonder and worry about our finances. With a new baby on the way ready to suck every last cent from our already tightly squeezed budget, I was determined to turn a blind eye on our financial situation no longer. Knowing I would likely not find a better time to devote to this endeavor anytime soon, I grabbed the phone, the pile of bills and a notepad and began taking diligent notes.
Many pages and much chicken scratching later, I knew there must be a better way to keep all of this important information organized. Fortunately, as it turns out, I was right, and it didn’t cost me one-red cent, either. With a small, old 3-ring notebook and a few pieces of paper, I was able to make household tool with lasting value. So if you’re finding yourself enticed by such tools available for sale online and in the stores, keep your money right where it is, with you, and instead create a home directory of the “DIY” variety.
A home directory is tool that helps you manage everything related to your home and your household life. It’s a tool that helps you track outstanding debts and ongoing payments as well as saves you time when you quickly need to find a plethora of information. It can also be a real family safety net as well. Should a family member become unavailable, with a home directory, all the important information is readily accessible to anyone who may need it. For this very reason, it’s vitally important to keep it picked up and protected from theft.
To begin, gather all of your creditors’ information including due dates, account numbers, contact information and amounts due. Other information also worth considering for inclusion are pharmacy phone numbers, doctors’ contact information, phone numbers for children’s schools and even your car’s VIN and license information. If you’re like me and sometimes forget or misplace password and/or login information, consider adding a page just for that information as well. Next, create a page or listing for each so that it can easily be incorporated and/or later removed from the directory. Designating an entire page for each ensures that you will have plenty of space for recording important information, including making notes of any phone calls made to creditors. For ease of use later, clearly label each page with the contact’s name in the upper right-hand corner as this will make finding that contact’s information later much easier. One word of warning, however, for information that may change frequently, consider using a pencil rather than a pen.
The beauty of creating one yourself is that you can tailor it to your own needs and household habits. There is a variety of different ways to organize the pages, so choose a method that works best for you as any other way would be less effective. From strictly alphabetizing the pages by contact name to dividing the directory into smaller sections such as “house,” “car,” and “medical,” doesn’t matter how you organize it, the result is the same – a great, easy way to effectively organize all matters of finance and home.
Photo credit: mag3737
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