BOSTON (CBS) – Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Spring officially starts on Thursday. But I, for one, never write off the Snow Fairy until Mother’s Day. She is sneaky that one!

The spring weather works magic on all of us. Some of us can’t wait for the flowers and baseball and for some there comes a phenomena know as spring-cleaning. We look around our homes and want to get rid of the winter clutter.

But what about the financial clutter you have hanging around. Take a look around your house. You finished your taxes (didn’t you) but you still haven’t put away the tax stuff. Your oldest heads off to college in the fall and her paperwork, including her birth certificate and health records, are still sitting on the bureau.

According to one study I found, we spend over 40 hours a year searching for our important papers. You put them away in a really safe place. You just can’t remember which safe place!

Spending 40 hours is annoying enough but I would like to add a price tag to your hours. Figure out what your time is worth. If you earn $50,000 a year, your hourly rate would be $25. Then multiple that by 40 or more to come up with the cost of clutter. That would be a $1,000.

You need to get organized! Set up a filing system. A filing cabinet is best, but they are large and hard to move around so a crate-a-file or a big binder will do in the beginning. Think about getting a safety deposit box or buy a safe, one rated by Underwriters Laboratories. You want to protect your important papers from a major catastrophe such as a fire, flood, or a robbery.

If something should happen to you, would your family know where to find the important papers? Or if ever you are told you have one hour to evacuate can you easily grab the kids, your meds, the important papers, the computer, the dog and leave?

One more thing:

Operation Money Wise Is Designed for Those with Military Backgrounds

The state’s Office of Financial Literacy announced that registration is open for an upcoming “Money Conference” geared specifically toward veterans, active military members, and their families.  The Conference will commence at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 22nd in McKenzie Auditorium at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley.

The free first-ever Conference, dubbed Operation Money Wise, will provide instruction on matters such as how to sharpen spending and saving skills, how to protect assets from predatory lending practices, and what financial tools and benefits are available to service members and veterans.  State officials said that, particularly given the complexity of the military benefit system, some veterans and service members might not take advantage of the financial benefits available to them or might expect to receive a benefit for which they don’t qualify.

The event is jointly sponsored by Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, the Massachusetts National Guard, and the Financial Literacy Trust Fund.

A free continental breakfast and box lunch will be made available to people attending the Conference.  For more information and to register, interested parties can visit or call (617) 367-9333 Ext. 615.


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