Staying on top of your finances is critical to your financial health and is the first step to creating wealth. Here is a list of tips and tricks to ensure you are on the road to financial well-being:
1. Review your budget regularly - Once you go through the arduous process of creating a budget, you may be tempted to never look at it again, or to peek at it sparingly. However, reviewing your budget once a month will allow you to keep track of budgets that ebb and flow during different times of the year or even different phases of your life. Utilities are an example of a budget item that may fluctuate, as more electricity is used in the summer months. Or you may discover that you do not spend as much on going out to eat as you used to, but you have spent more on travel than you expected. Setting aside time to review and periodically adjust/modify your budget is an important aspect of successful financial planning.
If you have yet to create a budget, please review this guest post as a helpful how-to on creating a budget, here.
2. Use budgeting software - There are tons of financial measurement programs and apps out there - Mint.com, Quicken, Wally, among countless others, and each with their pros, cons, and variation of user friendliness. Some of these are free to download, so you can choose a couple of different options and see what works best for you.
3. Keep track of your bills - if you receive paper bills, keep them in one place. If you receive them electronically, you can print them out or keep scanned files on your computer, USB, or external hard drive. Keeping a financial record will help you when tax season rolls around. Creating a checklist of when bills arrive and are due is also a great way to monitor your finances.
4. Pay your bills as soon as you receive them - this will ensure you have an accurate idea of how much funds are sitting in your account. It can be tempting to wait to pay your bills because the account feels padded, but it can create a false sense of security.
5. Communicate - if it is a shared account. Fighting about money is the second leading cause of divorce, after infidelity. Both high debt and lack of communication about money matters are major contributions to stress and anxiety encompassing household finances. It is important to communicate with each other about expenses and do financial planning together. You may want to decide a certain dollar amount where you need to confirm with the other before spending money on something ($100, $500, $1000, etc).
Successful planning will lead to creating wealth and experiencing financial wellness. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about our financial planning and investment management services, please contact us at (515) 557-1860 or firstname.lastname@example.org. TABER Asset Management is a Des Moines, Iowa fiduciary based investment advisory firm serving clients across the U.S.