I don’t know if you’ve figured this out about me yet, but I'm kind of obsessed with making all money matters as simple as possible.
While I truly believe that our financial health isn’t based on a number but on a practice of wealthy habits, when it comes to money, we can make sure our financial habits are working in our best interest with these six monthly money moves.
Remember: It’s not about what you HAVE but what you DO with what you have.
Let’s spruce up your finances with some easy peasy monthly habits, shall we?
While I recommend checking in on your finances somewhere between every few days and every couple weeks, there are some money moves you should make at least every month.
Whether you’re making great progress on your financial goals or you’re feeling guilty of letting it go for too long, let’s set you up for future success in funding your best self and your best life.
CLEAN OUT YOUR WALLET
I’m one of those Magic-Art-of-Tidying Crazies and even my wallet gets a little cluttered from time to time. It’s easy to get flustered by a messy wallet and overdraw your account with the wrong card or not realize you’ve ran out of cash and have to charge your purchase. Lose the overwhelm with a minimalistic approach.
Keep your driver’s license or some form of ID, your health insurance card, a debit card, and/or a credit card if you’re using one for perks, and uncrumple your cash. Everything else can hang out in your freezer (or wherever you keep your emergency stash).
LOOK BACK AT YOUR SPENDING
Good gravy, this is my favorite! I have a template you can use HERE to track all of your numbers but use whatever method feels best to you. Go through your bank accounts and credit card statements and tally up how much went where.
If you’re strictly a cash spender, you won’t have much data to use besides your ATM withdrawals, but this is a good place to start putting some tracking habits into place.
Keep tracking your expenses every month. If you can’t look back this month, start tracking now so you can do it next month. Do this exercise! I promise it’s really cool and insightful.
CHECK YOUR NET WORTH
Your net worth does NOT equal your self-worth, but I find it really fun to see how this figure changes month over month. Your net worth is a great snapshot of your financial life (like when your doctor weighs you at your annual physical – except we don't want any judgment here).
This might sound complicated but it's actually really simple. In one column add up all of your assets from the cash in your wallet to the present value of your investment accounts. And then in another, add up all of your debts from that $20 you owe a friend to your student loans to your mortgage. Assets minus debts equals net worth.
MAKE A PLAN
I can’t help but plug myself here, but this is what I get paid to do if you’re interested in hiring this project out. OR you can take a deep breath, lay out all of your numbers, set some goals, and go for it!
It’s just a plan, you can keep adjusting it as needed, but just set yourself up to start already! Do this before a new month starts so you can hit the ground running come the 1st of the month. A good budget is flexible and has room for adjustments so if you’ve been struggling with the same budget for the past year, switch it up!
ORGANIZE YOUR TAX DOCS
Even if you don’t have all of your year-end tax forms yet, I’m sure you have plenty of monthly bank account and credit card statements plus all those receipts for tax-free purchases you’ll be deducting on your taxes. I’m talking doctor’s bills, insurance premiums, donations, etc.
Gather everything you have so far and stash it in a folder (either physical or virtual). Having a stash of tax docs is way more manageable than tracking down 12 months of paperwork. No need for you to stress over your taxes at the last minute!
SET WEEKLY MONEY DATES WITH YOURSELF
Once you start holding formal reviews with yourself, you’ll only have to give yourself one assignment per week for the rest of the year. I’m talking reviewing your credit report, checking on your investments, and so forth. The weekly approach helps prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by all of the to-dos you’ll set in the name of financial well-being.
Literally, put them on your calendar and don’t flake out on yourself. You’ll have yourself to answer to next year and you mean business! Be your best self and show up for you and your money life.