A neat home, besides being aesthetically pleasant, allows everyone in the family to easily find what they want, when they want to. Tidying your home also prevents it from turning into a cesspit, especially if you have children, which can only be good for the family's well-being. Similarly, regular ordering of your household finances is essential to the family's financial well-being. Here are some guidelines.
1) File your financial statements
Practically everyone has access to a computer nowadays. We now have the option to either file the physical bills and statements or better yet, input everything into a spreadsheet (for a list of common family expenditure, refer to http://www.myhappyhouse.com.sg/incomeplan.php). You don't even have to fork out cash for a decent spreadsheet. There are a number of free ones on the Internet for you to choose from (e.g. http://www.openoffice.org).
* Get soft copies of bills and statements, if possible, to save time from entering data.
* Remember to back-up all your information. On top of your harddisk, you should also save all your files in a secondary storage media such as a CD-R or thumb drive.
2) Delegate book keeping duties to your children
If you have children, consider delegating simple tasks such as data-entry to them. This, not only gives them a sense of responsibility, but also an opportunity to understand basic financial principles. Cultivate good financial habits from young.
3) Utilisation of credit cards
Do use your credit card, if you have one, but remember to repay the entire sum, not the minimum amount, at the end of the month. For the disciplined, prudent use of credit card makes sound economic sense.
4) Make it a habit
The more you procrastinate, the more it piles up. Set aside 30 minutes each week to upkeep your finances.
5) Rule of thumb
Total household expenses should ideally be not more than 33% of household income. If it is higher than 33%, it's time to cut down on expenses.
* Clean your air-conditioners regularly
* Do your laundry on full load
* Install thimbles on your taps
6) Financial planning
If your household has only one breadwinner, with no one else able to take on this role, and not much liquid assets (e.g. savings, shares etc), consider an insurance plan for the money spinner. Financial woes is not something your family should cope with in the event the sole breadwinner is incapacitated.