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YOUR MONEY WEEKEND

Financial Planner

November 03, 2000|LIZ PULLIAM WESTON

Checklist: Get Organized

Things to do this weekend with your money

A well-organized financial filing system can save you time and money, especially at tax time. Now is a good time to review your system, so that you can assess your financial situation before year-end and avoid scrambling to find needed documents.

* Today: Evaluate how well your system works. Do you have a designated place for tax-related paperwork, receipts, brokerage and bank statements? Shoe boxes and piles might work for some, but stationery and office-supply stores offer more sophisticated systems. Some, such as HomeFile, tell you what to keep handy, what to archive and what to throw away.

* Saturday: Prune what you've got. Last year's tax documents can be boxed and put into storage; keep a copy of your 1999 return, though. Most non-tax-related paperwork, such as utility bills not used for a home-office deduction, can be shredded.

* Sunday: Get some help. If your situation is dire, you may need the services of a professional organizer. You can find referrals at http://www.napo.net . You might also consider books such as Julie Morgenstern's "Organizing From the Inside Out" (Owl Books, 1998) or Georgene Lockwood's "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life" (MacMillan Distribution, 1999). Web sites such as Get Organized Now, at http://www.getorganizednow.com, can provide tips and inspiration.

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