Bringing It All Together
One of the most challenging things about financial management is organization. Think of all of the different ways you can make purchases. Financial technology has made it easier to check balances and pay bills, but even harder to track activity across multiple accounts. On the one hand you may think you’re doing great, while in reality you may be taking on more risk than you should. Here are some tips on bringing it all together.
Write it down
What you track on a consistent basis will help you accomplish your goals. If it doesn’t get measured, it can’t improve or change. Your financial health depends on your ability to make informed and intentional decisions.
Start with what you have – a spreadsheet, notebook or calendar. Keep a running journal of your cashflow, both money coming in and money going out. Income is more than your paycheck. Include gifts, rebates, refunds, bonuses and cash tips. Spending includes more than just paying bills. It includes deposits to a savings account, investments or donations. Take time to assign a purpose or reason for as many transactions as you can. Seek to better understand yourself, your habits and motivations.
Add it up
Face your financial demons head on. Keep a running tab for each major category of your cashflow. Calculate how much of your income is being allocated to each category. Ask yourself what specific need does each action meet? Are your financial choices aligned with your personal goals and values?
Once you begin tracking all of your financial transactions in one place, you will gain better insights on what needs to change. You become empowered to redirect your cashflow to where it matters most. You begin to make better connections between the daily choices you make and your progress towards goals.
Build confidence in defining your priorities and sticking to them. Share your reasons with friends and family, so they can help you succeed. As you create your financial roadmap, steer clear of excuses or apathy. Keep both hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the horizon. You are fully capable of building a life you love and managing your own financial health.