Budgeting, money management, and personal finance are vital skills every mature individual should know. Constant education is your path to mastering your finances.
With that being said, you need not worry about turning personal finance into some daunting task that takes up large chunks of your afternoon. Yes, you will need to keep an eye on your finances to the keenest degree but you can easily accomplish this in just 10 minutes a day.
Prior to the Start: Understand Your Financial Standing
Before you can truly begin the streamlined act of managing your finances – you need to understand where your money is going.
As someone who’s seen the ups and downs of money, I can honestly say that financial education is right up there with learning new skills for a job if you want to live a comfortable life and avoid the stress that comes about when you’re scraping by on funds.
If you are having trouble getting started with understanding your personal finances you should consider a debt planning dlike My Money Checkup.
The tool cuts straight through the fluff and gives you detailed explanations of what you’re doing right and wrong, with your money.
Go check out the MyMoneyCheckup tool and work through the following process with me.
The process goes a little something like this:
1. You sign up for an account on the website (it’s free)
2. The next 5 – 10 minutes has you going through multiple questions about your finances such as budgeting, savings, retirement, and other main areas; it doesn’t require highly personal details which is a breath of fresh air since that information is very private.
3. You’re then given a report marked by green, yellow, and red visuals (like stoplights) for each of the main areas (I was surprised to see how little I focused on my retirement!).
As you make your way through the tool, you can find a lot of great resources about how to approach each of the main areas. This information is provided by the NFCC which has been around since 1951; it’s expert level of information that’s a little dry, at times, but highly valuable (each section will have these links to videos and articles).
News: The MyMoneyCheckup.org tool has been released in Spanish, just recently.
The 10 Minute Financial Workflow
After you get a good understanding of your current financial standing, you should be taking in order gain a mastery over your personal finances.
Here’s what I’d recommend for doing your budgeting:
1. Go through your online banking account and compile your spending into specific categories (such as housing, utilities, gas, car maintenance, splurge)
2. Record each expense in a spreadsheet based on these categories
3. Use the financial calculator in the MyMoneyCheckup tool to adjust your budget
4. Align your spending, make cuts, and devote a greater percentage to the areas that were marked in ‘red’ on the report.
5. Set a comfortable amount of “splurge” money for the week (only after you’ve paid the important items) – and stick to it.
Each day, spend about 10 minutes to update your projections.
Over time, you’ll see where you’re “leaking” money which will allow you to develop new habits with your spending; you can use this new discovery to place more into your long-term savings accounts.
You can develop great habits and use great lifestyle choices which will naturally lead you to better money management. Take a few moments of your day to stay up-to-date with personal finance; it’s the best shot you have at creating a comfortable, stress-free life.
*This post was provided by Becky W.