I just spent the last couple of hours cleaning up old financial paperwork. So, if you’re not interested in that kind of thing, move along, nothing to see here, etc, etc.
I’ve blogged before about my continuing struggle to keep up with my Merrill Lynch accounts, in terms of entering the statements into Quicken. For quite a while, I’ve resisted letting Quicken download those accounts, since there tended to be some annoying little problems with that process. So, I kept manually entering them. Well, I fell off that bandwagon at the end of 2010, and had just been letting the statements pile up since. As David Allen would say, I’d gone numb to it.
I used to just have two accounts with Merrill — a catch-all account (called a CMA), and a Roth IRA. Well, now, I have the CMA, the Roth IRA, a traditional IRA (created when I rolled over the 401(k) from NMS), and an inherited IRA (from my Mom). So, that’s really too much to keep up with. Today, I decided to “clear the decks,” as it were, and get everything set up to download into Quicken. I started by shredding a bunch of old statements, from 2008-2010, that were in my filing cabinet. Then, I sorted out the big pile of 2011-2012 statements, and put them away, organized in a reasonable fashion, in the filing cabinet. Then, I set up all the accounts to download into Quicken. The result (in Quicken) is a little messy, but it all adds up correctly, and I guess that’s all I need.
My plan from this point forward is to open each statement as I get them, review it at a high level, then file it away. Meanwhile, the activity will get downloaded into Quicken any time I’m in there, balancing my checkbook, so that will be at least once a month.
I guess the main reason for this blog post is so that I can remember what I did, and when I did it, so that I can review things later in the year, and see if this system is working out. My main goal for this year is to actually look at the statements when I get them, so I can call Merrill if something is wrong, or if I need to change anything. Now that I won’t feel burdened by the need to do data entry every time I get a statement, hopefully I can avoid the temptation to just pile them up without looking at them!