and the Oscar goes to….What, you don’t have quickbooks or quicken either? oh dear.. now what?

Your CPA has requested all your information and receipts from 2010, and needs it fast. You have no idea where you have put your receipts,  or worse, they are scattered in drawers, wallets, office desk and envelopes. The bookkeeping isn’t done either.  Does this sound like you or somebody you know?

This is the time of year when some people wish they had organized their paperwork sooner. There is no going back now is there? You ‘ll have to pull it all together somehow and pronto.

This chore is like pulling teeth and takes many people hours if not days to finish. You feel paralyzed, you want to quit before you even get started so instead you kick into procrastination mode and decide to watch TV to simply escape.  You know you’re watching the OSCARS this Sunday evening,  aren’t you? You won’t miss it, you’ll have to watch the three hour or more affair from the twinkle in the eyes of actors to the rolling credits at the end. Does this sound like you or somebody you know?

Well,  here’s a painless idea to get you motivated and start preparing for your appointment with your accountant. First,  decide to get out of this rut. Then, call it Oscar Tax-time.  On Sunday evening, when they are rolling out the red carpet and gawking at the gorgeous gowns and actors, get moving.

Step one:  start gathering your paperwork: assemble a station on a kitchen table or counter for example. Grab all those receipts scattered to drawers and wallets. Lump them together. Next step, take inventory. Look to see what you have, and start categorizing according to your tax person’s directions. Monthly: Medical, home, business, auto, etc….

We are assuming you don’t have Quickbooks and this late in the game, do you really think you should try to master it for this purpose? that’s another topic.

Lastly, start entering your data. Preferable using excel file sheets  or get a ledger book that will help with columns and data entry.

Notice how three hours can pass by quickly. You’re able to get through what seems like a daunting task and now see how possible it is to not only save yourself some money but gain some control of your finances. All while hearing the latest news of your favorite Oscar contenders. did they win?

Getting a clear picture of what your next step should be is so important to finding financial health, wealth and happiness. Who’s the winner now?