Ready to tackle some financial goals this year? We’ve got a few reasons why a routine financial checkup is crucial to your cause!
Do you ever feel stuck in a rut or find yourself in a vicious cycle with your finances? Truly, it can be an easy (and unpleasant) place to end up. Years ago, I figured out that a quick “money checkup” is both simple and can be easily incorporated into my monthly or weekly routine. After all, what gets focused on actually gets done. Our finances need some attention and the benefits of these efforts will surely follow.
So often, I talk to people that say their checking account is in the RED by the end of the month. They are frustrated, overwhelmed, and just unhappy or unsure about how to fix the situation. When I ask them a few basic questions, it usually becomes apparent that they don’t focus on their finances and simply overspend.
Talk about a frustrating situation! A little planning and glancing at your money and accounts in a consistent way is truly helpful. I like to call mine a “money checkup.” Here is the best part: they work and take very little time.
Everyone’s situation is different but I think that a weekly or at least monthly finance time is essential. Whether you are single or married, it’s important to discipline yourself to check your account balances, keep up with your bill pay schedule, and take ownership of how you spend your money.
Don’t throw your hands up in the air and just hope it’s all going to work out. We must be intentional with our finances to attain our goals, pay bills on time, and work toward the goal to live free from debt.
Here are a few suggestions to incorporate a little financial checkup into your schedule.
How to Implement a Regular Financial Checkup
1. Set a time
The one way I know that something gets done is to set a time and make it a habit. Think of it like an appointment with yourself. For me, I tend to find Saturday mornings work in our home. We look back on how we spent our money that week and look ahead to the next week.
If my husband and I need to tweak our budget or our plans to be sure we are covered, then this time allows us to be sure that we are all covered. We never want to overspend or miss the mark on a goal we are working toward. I find that setting a time and being consistent is beneficial as we pay bills and work toward our savings goals.
2. Keep it short
No one looks forward to a long, knockdown drag out session of money crunching. So just keep it short and simple. My goal is to simply spend about 15 minutes reviewing our finances each week. The goal here is to simply look at what you are spending, saving, and figure out if you are on point with your goals. Also, in life things just come up and you want to think through how to handle those types of situations.
A short meeting is all you will usually need. If you find that you need more time or it turns into a productive brainstorming session then work at it until you have a solid plan. Then regroup on the topics you either thought about or worked through at your next weekly meeting.
3. Change as needed
One thing about a weekly finance time is that you need to be willing to make changes when necessary. While I hope you never have an issue, life and the unexpected just happens sometimes. A weekly glance at your finances helps you to actually see and know where your money is going before you get into a difficult money crunch.
Be willing to make necessary changes as you go along. The great part about a consistent meeting time is that you can keep things in check rather than finding yourself in a messy situation or short on cash.
Money checkups will allow you to keep better track of your finances! Be sure to set a specific time, keep it short and sweet, and make changes when necessary.