Every Saturday morning after brewing a full pot of coffee, I stand in a sunny spot on the couch, open a table, and start checking where my money has gone over the past week.
I call this my money practice. I take a step back to see if and where I’m spending too much, saving too little, and everything else in between. Much like I run for my physical health and meditate for my mental health, the time I devote to regularly reviewing my finances is a fundamental element of my self-care routine.
Build your own money practice with these tips.
1. Think of it as a lifetime journey.
I use the term practice to describe managing my money as it implies a continuous effort as opposed to a one-time task.
I sometimes joke: You don’t go to a yoga class and then say, “Great, now I’m fit for life.” Like most forms of wellbeing, money management is an ongoing effort.
2. Adopt a philosophy of growth.
Viewing your finances as a practice can encourage a growth philosophy rather than a solid one.
When it comes to money, it can mean the difference between thinking. I need to learn more about how to invest, and I’m just bad at money so there’s no point in trying. A growth philosophy is a valuable tool for managing the inevitable setbacks that will occur on your financial journey.
3. Weave it into your daily life.
A monetary practice is all about setting aside time for financial self-sufficiency. What your money practice actually looks like depends on the strategies that work best for you and what you want to achieve with your money.
To some people, it looks like every dollar is budgeted at the end of each month. Or, like me, it could mean just keeping track of where your money is going each week.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Weekly: Track income, expenses, bills and payments.
- Monthly: Track household expenses, wealth, repayment progress, and savings and investment progress.
- Quarterly: Review investments and rebalance the portfolio, meet with a finance professional to ask questions, and set future plans.
- Yearly: Submit taxes, review credit reports, review and update insurance coverage as needed, review retirement goals, review and update beneficiaries, power of attorney and other estate plans as needed.
Read On: The Complete Guide To Money: How To Create The Wealth You Have Been Looking For All Your Life
This article originally appeared in the March / April 2021 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by @ InLightOut / Twenty20.com