Tips for the dentist on setting up the home office and managing personal finances


Dr. Doug Carlsen

How’s the best way to start handing your personal finances? Here are some tips from Dr. Doug Carlsen

Among other things in the video above, Dr. Carlsen mentions the following...

First, decide who’s the financial team leader of the family. 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.

Essentials for 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.

Six pieces of advice on personal finances

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

2. Set up your budget with Mint. It’s free and will work with your smart phone. Make sure it includes all important categories. Note: If you have irregular income, use the lowest income you’ve had for the last three to six months.

Fixed expenses:
Auto payments
*Saving for retirement, college

Variable Expenses:
Dining Out
*Sports Activities
*Household expenses
Cable-Internet-Phone Bundle
Cell Phone

*Areas often missed in budget setups.

3. 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

4. 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.

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

6. Get a home safe and put these things in it:
Tax records. I keep forever.
Birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, and vaccination 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 this in January of even-numbered years.

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