Habits for Your FinancesSep 13, 2022
When you think of the word habits, what comes to mind? Exercise, healthy eating, drinking water, or in my case coffee. I thought it was time to chat about financial habits. The ones that can really set us up for success and financially happier life. No matter what size your business, the finances are the engine room, and we get to play chief engineer with our numbers.
Are you ready to be an engineer? Let's talk about setting good habits, where to start, how to make ourselves accountable, and what to do.
First, let's unpack the routine. When it comes to your finances, what's your routine, do you have a schedule? Have you got a dedicated day and time when you work on your finances? This can play a critical role in managing your money. It's an important task that needs to be on the to-do list. And finding the right day and time is key to achieving that goal.
Placing this task in your Friday evening calendar slot may not be the ideal time to hit the numbers. After a long week, do you really want to be at your computer late on a Friday night? I know I don't.
Being organized is another huge part of the routine. If you have paperwork scattered everywhere then you’re going to have to start your finance session finding everything.
Oh no, are you kidding me? Now, where did I put that receipt?
This is where some pre-planning will pay off. A great place to start is to make a home for all the required items, both paper and digital. Just like putting the dirty clothes in the laundry basket, this will make the next step much easier.
Another part of your financial routine to consider is to do it in bite-size pieces. Sitting down to catch up on six months’ worth of finances is not inviting to anyone. Don't do this to yourself, weekly or monthly is much more digestible. And trust me when I say you are far less likely to put off doing it when it isn't such a big, horrible beast of a thing.
Now that all sounds great. And I hope you are thinking, yeah, I can do that. It sounds like a great plan. Now you need to stick to it. And this is the part I see the majority of people struggle with. What seems like more important things come up! You need to go to the grocery store. You had visitors drop in, or the repair person is finally available to come and fix your leaky sink.
We all have life pop up and some things are just unavoidable. So, did you move your finance time to later that day? Or did you move it forward a week? And then next week something else pops up and before you know, it's been bumped by a month or more. Don't forget, that having those bite-sized sessions are really going to help you stay in the game.
Think of scheduling your finances, just like you would with any important meeting. Yes, we can reschedule, but constantly rescheduling or canceling should not be an option if it can be avoided. If we move or reschedule too much, we run the risk of falling behind. Then we are back to where we started with a mountain of finances to catch up on. The longer it's left, the worse it looks, and the worse it looks the less likely we want to do it. We then have to force ourselves to reset and get back to our routine.
Remember the longer you leave it, the worse it's going to get.
You can do this in a couple of ways. Start working on the ‘now’ numbers and chip away at that catch-up pile. Or if you're feeling ambitious and determined just bite the bullet and dedicate a bigger session to tackle it all. Getting back on schedule won't be easy. Especially if it's been building up for a while. We can put it off but then you have to ask yourself this, if not today, when?
Remember, the easier we make this task, the more likely we will stay on top of it.