Have you seen those commercials for fitness programs that say all you have to do is spend 15 mins a day in their program and you will get lean and fit. You know, they show a before and after picture of someone that has been through the program. Now, I do not know if they work, but I do know if you stick with any kind of plan you will see some kind of results.
It is no different with your finances. You have to have a plan and stick to it. Here are some steps to your 15 minute plan.
- The start of any plan revolves around cash flow management. In the 17 years that I have been in financial planning, I have found that the most successful people are those that can create, manage and read an Income-Expense statement. You start with a system for collecting your data. You can use pen and paper; an Excel spreadsheet; a software program; or something like the oXYGen Financial Online Dashboard.
- Manage your Income-Expense statement. Once a week take a look at your statement. Look for areas to cut expenses. See if there are life changes that will improve your Income-Expense statement.
- Positive or negative bottom line. It can only be one of those. If it is positive, great. Look for places to save the extra money. If it is negative, then you are spending more than your finite amount of income.
- Don’t forget to pay yourself first. Include savings and other goals into your plan, so you do not forget to do them.
Take a page out of the fitness commercials. Spend 15mins, once a week managing your statement. Awareness of where your money is going is half the battle to your SmartMoneyMoves.