Recordkeeping – No April Fools Lifeskill Pranks Here!

Ever wonder where April Fools’ Day got started? Well, according to the History Channel, some historians say it dates to 1582. That’s the year when “…France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called ‘April fools.’” These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs symbolizing a young, easily caught fish or gullible person.

Today, there are those via newspapers, radio, TV, and websites who go to incredible lengths to dream up April Fools’ Day hoaxes of fantastically imagined claims fooling their audiences. Yet, when it comes to recordkeeping The Motley Fool doesn’t play hoaxes when it comes to how important keeping records is to our lives.

According to FINRA staff’s article, Keep Up With Recordkeeping (Sept 26, 2018), “It may not be fun, but keeping up-to-date records of your investments could save you some serious headaches.” This is true for all forms of recordkeeping. Whether the paper trail involves investing, tax reporting, or paying your monthly bills, the task and volume may seem overwhelming. This dilemma is especially true when fortunate enough to financially prosper. Yet, beware of the temptation to overspend and watch your budget go off the charts into the red zone!

The following words from 19th century British writer, Samuel Butler, apply to the way we balance our checkbooks but also the memories and legacy we leave to those we love.

Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.”

So, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is your primary attitude toward recordkeeping? (i.e., never paid much attention; hire out; stay close to money trail)
  2. Why is it important to keep records?
  3. What is included in your recordkeeping routines?
  4. Do you save all your receipts? – bank statements, pay slips, household receipts/bills (i.e., food, housing, clothing, medicine, nutritional supplements, car repairs). If not, why?
  5. What kind of recordkeeping do you routinely do, personally and professionally?

What is Recordkeeping anyway? Here are basic recordkeeping areas to maintain throughout your life:

  • Net Worth
  • Budget
  • Home/Possessions
  • Benevolence & Giving
  • Emergency Records
  • Life/Family Memories

Many do not believe we have the time or personality to be involved in the recordkeeping side of life. For those of us who give it a try, we hope to choose a recordkeeping system that works for both our personal and business needs.

What is not so surprising the impact COVID and inflation is causing on our pocketbooks, Americans seem to want to save more and actually keep a budget. According to Natasha Gabrielle’s Motley Fool Ascent post (Feb 1, 2022), 43% of Americans Want to Save More in 2022. Here are the findings:

  • 43% of participants want to save more money.
  • 51% of participants plan to focus on saving for long-term objectives.
  • 49% of participants plan to focus on saving for short-term objectives.
  • 72% of participants are confident they’ll be in a better financial position than in 2021.

It’s amazing how life’s struggles and losses can get us back on track. I encourage you to study recordkeeping areas listed above. You just may be surprised what you learn about your net worth and money habits needing help. Whatever your life dreams and goals may be, recordkeeping is your training tool for achieving them. And a budget is at the center of it all!

There is no other way to preserve and maintain a check-and-balance on integrity than keeping accurate and honest records in your personal and professional life. May you discover just the right tools to keep records and memories for you and your family.