The savvy dental hygienist, part 2: Tips on setting up the home office and managing personal finances

September 8, 2014
Kevin Henry

Issue 9

First, decide who’s the financial team leader. That person must meet quarterly with the other spouse to go over any questions and concerns. Second, designate one spot in your house for all financial items. An extra bedroom, which is quiet, works best. But a kitchen corner, dining room corner, or basement will work fine.

First, decide who’s the financial team leader. That person must meet quarterly with the other spouse to go over any questions and concerns.

Second, designate one spot in your house for all financial items. An extra bedroom, which is quiet, works best. But a kitchen corner, dining room corner, or basement will work fine.

Check out part 1 of this series: How dental hygienists can figure their retirement number in less than 10 minutes

The Home Office

Make sure you have:

A shredder that has a capacity of 15 pages.

A home safe. Most banks and credit unions don’t have safe deposit units anymore.

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Financial Tips and Tricks

1. You can still do bills by hand, yet online resources are great and virtually fool-proof these days.

Set up your budget with Mint. It’s free and will work with your smart phone. Make sure it includes all your categories:

If you have irregular income, use the lowest income you’ve had for the last 3-6 months.

Fixed expenses:

Mortgage

Auto payments

Insurance

*Saving for retirement, college

*Gym

Variable Expenses:

Groceries

Dining out

*Sports activities

Entertainment

*Donations

*Gifts

*Household expenses

Cable-Internet-Phone bundle

Cell phone

*Vacation

*Areas often missed in budget setups.

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2. For $10 a month, Quicken will pay your bills and reconcile for you. They can monitor, pay all bills a few days in advance and will set up a year in advance.

Note: There are many tutorials on setting up home finance at https://www.youtube.com/user/Quicken/videos

3. Shred anything with your name, or any number or bar code associated with you. This includes the last four digits of your credit card or addresses on magazines.

4. Have a list of important financial people: Financial adviser, loan officer, insurance agents, attorneys, home improvement contractors, CPA.

5. What to keep in your home safe:

Tax Records. I keep forever.

Birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, and vaccinations records.

Home deeds.

Car titles.

All estate documents.

Social Security cards.

Any other paid-off loan documents.

Life and disability insurance documents

Video of all your home possessions. Do in January of even numbered years.