The Key to Higher Personal Income

January is National Financial Wellness Month and a recently released Day Timers 2006 New Year's Resolution Survey listed financial changes in the top three respondent promises made for the new year. Success at paying off debts in the past five years was reported by 45 percent; 43 percent had success in saving more money during this period and 20 percent had moved on to a better job.

The study found that workers who use time management tools in planning their day typically have a 25 percent higher mean personal income and they rate themselves as very or extremely successful.

"More than half the battle when it comes to finances is organization. That means bills, files and records need a home of their own," said Day Timers life management expert Maria Woytek. "This allows you to have a system that keeps everything updated. One payoff is that you minimize late fees and maximize returns."

The following tips on getting organized for financial success are offered by Day Timers:

A plan should be printed out and keep in daily view. It should take all of your needs into account, no matter how much or how little income you earn. Balance is key. Knowing when the monthly bills and expenses hit will help with spending limits, but money should also be allowed for a little pleasure spending.

Keep a written record of daily spending, including cash, checks and credit cards. Use something like the Day Timers hole punched Hot Sheets to avoid spending time listing expenses with recurring due dates. Just write down the bill and due date and insert it in your daily planner and after payment, move it on to the next month.

Keep records of expenses to be reimbursed. It can be easy to forget to list a lunch or travel expense, especially small expense amounts.

Be ready for tax season and avoid the last minute rush to gather receipts needed to get the most from income tax deductions by keeping them in a special place that is just devoted to storing this information.

The numbers show that people today are saving less than ever before, creating problems in later years, so it is important to create savings goals. Decide on the goals -- a new car or vacation -- write them down and record the amount needed to meet these savings goals. For many, financial security is having money in the bank and savings allow you to handle unexpected expenses with income that is readily available.

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