Just like your time, financial management is an important aspect of your life that needs to be planned, scheduled and allotted in a way that best fits your own personal lifestyle and priorities. It also needs to be organized and continuously tracked so that you don’t end up spending more than you make, getting yourself in a stressful financial situation. Also just like time, figuring out and implementing a strategy that works best for you can take forever if you focus on the wrong things.
SET-UP A MONTHLY CHECK-IN
If you’re like me and want to keep up with your finances quickly and efficiently, use your monthly planner spread to track bill due dates or download our expense tracker printable to make sure payments are made on time! Also, take time to automate these payments wherever you can too! This will save you time and make sure payments are not missed. Not only will planners help you look at your budget on a month to month and week to week basis but it will help you keep track of all your earnings, spendings and savings. It can also help you set goals for the future and set a timeline and specific tasks in order to accomplish them!
KEEP YOUR APPOINTMENTS
I would recommend scheduling a ‘Make a Money Monday’ or a ‘Finance Friday’ date on your calendar to review your personal expenses each month - download your last bank statement, add a column for spend category (e.g.: Housing, Education, etc) and go through it. The purpose of this exercise is to help you see where your money goes. This will help you highlight trends or patterns and review charges that may have come up in error or no longer need! Cut down on those costs wherever you can to save some money in your budget.
Once you have a better scope of your budget, evaluate what you can spend less on as well! We understand that a grocery fund is a most in your budget, but challenge yourself to cut down that number! Or try in-home workouts for a month instead of paying for a large gym membership. Set money goals and intentions for yourself along with incorporating a challenge or two to try out!
Personal and business finances can quickly become something we want to bury our heads in the sand about and just hope we’re not in the negative at the end of each month, but it doesn't have to be that complicated. Start by getting a rough estimate of your average monthly income and decide what percent you want to spend and what you want to save – and then continue to break it down from there!
CULTIVATE A POSITIVE MINDSET
Whatever happens in your finances doesn’t happen at the bank account level; it’s about how you choose to live your life. There are some people that can afford to eat out 7 times a week, but that’s just not realistic for everyone. Don’t let someone else’s ‘normal’ influence you to get yourself into a stressful financial situation. That being said, don’t be afraid to go out occasionally and splurge a little as that is a good release and can re-motivate you to continue to save and so that you can do that again in the future.
Money is a part of our well-being, and a means to support our life goals, so it warrants careful consideration. It is so tempting to just let your finances be as they are and refrain from planning and implementing any strategies because it is just too overwhelming to focus on. Don’t let that keep you from stepping into the process – even if it’s from ground 0. When you can get a handle on your finances you can make goals and when you hit those goals in your savings you can experience things in life that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
All that being said, if you struggle with your budget, tackle it Marie Kondo style and clean out the mess. Reorganize and reset your mindset so that you can achieve things in life without the stress and worry of not having enough or spending too much. Don’t be afraid to seek expert advice if this is something that you really need help with because life is too short to worry about finances, and in fact, they can be something to look forward to if you really try.
Want to get started managing your finances today? You can download our expense tracker printable located on our website and start planning!