The simple money system you need to reach your goals in 2017
It’s New Year’s resolution season and changing money habits is at the top of the list of sooooo many people.
Spend less, save more, pay off debt. We all want to make solid financial improvements from year to year. But so often the good intentioned goals set in January fizzle out by March.
Most goals don’t stick because you’re missing the financial foundation you need to help you achieve your goals.
You can’t effectively pay off your debt, if you have no idea what you’re spending. You can’t hit your long term goals as a family if you aren’t checking in on your progress regularly.
To reach the big, shiny goal you have to do the consistent, gritty work.
But it doesn’t have to be hard or overly complicated!
Here are my top tasks to do each week, month and year to reach your financial goals in 2017.
Gather and check receipts: I’m all for automated tracking apps or software programs, but it’s still important to save and check receipts for certain purchases. For example, during a trip to Target you might have gotten groceries, clothes for the kids, and toilet paper. These types of shopping trips should be split into separate tracking categories so you have an accurate idea of what you are spending in each area.
Check accounts: Even if you have a really good tracking system in place that tells you how much money you have in your accounts you still need to log into your checking and credit card accounts regularly to do a balance check and monitor for any irregularities.
Have a “Money date”: With most couples I work with, the daily management of the money falls to one person. That’s ok. We all have to divide and conquer. But it’s vital that you have a sit down check in once a month. Review progress towards goals, discuss larger purchases and upcoming spending. Be respectful with each other, set a time limit for the conversation and have an open mind about your partner’s concerns.
Review spending: This might be a part of your money date, but you should also be thoroughly reviewing your household spending on a monthly basis. Look for patterns from month to month, or where spending is creeping up. This isn’t just about spending less, it’s also about noticing what purchases you HAVEN’T made. For example, I often get to my monthly review and realize I didn’t get my monthly brow wax or have a date night with my husband. Oops! Time to get that scheduled.
Check your credit report: It’s important to monitor your credit score, but I’m even MORE concerned about making sure there is no fraud on your accounts. www.CreditKharma.com is a great place to check and monitor your credit.
Set financial goals: It is important to be working towards something. The New Year is a great time to set financial goals for the year. If you follow this simple system to monitor your finances, you will be amazed at what you can achieve in a year!
By committing to these tasks you will be building the solid financial foundation your family needs to hit your bigger debt and savings goals.
Don’t let your New Year’s resolutions fizzle by March. Let this year be different. It’s important to monitor your progress and celebrate the wins along the way to keep you motivated to keep pushing forward. If you can be consistent in the tasks that build your financial foundation, you can achieve any goal you set out to.
About the Guest Author
Nicole Cooley is a corporate drop out and momprenuer currently obsessed with sleep schedules, produce delivery and binge watching The Good Wife. Her company Money With Moxie teaches women to be powerful with money and use it as a tool to design their ideal life. She does this by exploring limiting beliefs and value alignment, while building tangible debt and savings plans.