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I was helping a friend with her finances tonight. She asked if I would help her set up bill pay online. I figured that it would not be a big deal until I saw the stack of folders she came in with. She is paying 18 different people and most of the addresses, etc. were written on scraps of paper or in random places in her planner. I was helping her set up Quicken at the same time. She has 5 different checking accounts and couldn't find her password for most of their online sites. Apparently, she changes them everytime she accesses a site for security. These checking accounts were spread across 3 different states - and 4 of them didn't even have a branch in this state. She has a 401k from an old job with $183.00 in it and about 7 different savings accounts - none of them had over $60 in them. I am still shaking from the 3 hours I spent with her. I couldn't even completely help her. It was just a mess. She had ordered her credit report and it had a ton of mistakes on it because of joint accounts with her ex-husband that she had never taken herself off of. All of his late payments were affecting her credit even though they have been divorced for some time.

With this sort of organization skills - I can't believe that she will ever be able to get ahead financially. How can you know where you're going if you don't know where you are?
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