How do You Manage your Household Finances?

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Managing household finances is difficult, at best for me.  I have a small business to run, homeschool records to maintain, and our own personal affairs to keep in order.  When it's not a huge pile of junk "to do" on my desk, it's neatly contained in a cardboard box to file away some future year.  Is this your method of maintaining order in finances?  If so, I'd love to share a few things that I have learned:

1.  Looks aren't everything - Just because someone has an immaculate home with no sign of paper clutter anywhere doesn't mean her financial "house" is in order.  If it helps you to have those clutter piles staring you in the face to remind you to get it done, do so.  My desk is nothing, if it isn't disheveled, but at least I don't forget to pay the bills!

2.  Automated is good... and bad. - Having your paychecks deposited into your accounts, and your bills automatically taken out, can be a timesaver.  They can also cause problems if your finances aren't cookie cutter or you tend to have to work between 3-4 accounts.  As a freelancer, I appreciate getting half of my income deposited automatically and half in the form of paper checks.  It frees me up to put money where I want, when I want, but gives me security that I'll have some order in case life gets super-hectic.  (You know, like if I have another baby, or something.)

3.  Knowing your personality is key to maintaining finances - If you're a clutterbug, it may be wise to team up with a super-detailed hubby to hold you accontable to getting things done in a neat and orderly fashion.  If you're super controlling about everything in your financial life, it may be best to hand over the reigns to your more laid-back spouse in order to catch a breather.  Don't do things that are too far out of your comfort zone, but be open to learning more about how to achieve proper balance in all things finance.  We should never stop trying to improve upon ourselves.

Do you have tips for maintaining your finances (or in this season -- taxes?)  As I sort through 1099's and receipts, and shuffle around the clutter of my life, I get motivated to doing more and being better.  What advice could you share?