“Honey, how was your day?” hug “Oh, Mom, thanks for coming to see us” hug “Daddio, you know it!” hug “Matt, my man, great to spend time with you” hug “Finances? …Finances? …30 Rock!” couch
Managing our work/life is chore enough for most. Friends, family, meetings, deadlines, emotional drama, keeping up with indiscriminate Facebook statuses; my god, that was ridiculous! But, come on, we all know that we need to find time to manage our financial health. Daunting as it may seem, this lonely task calls upon you to do your part and Hug ‘em once a month. Here are five steps to get you going:
1) Locate and store to memory how and where to obtain your current account information, statements, and bills and expenditures.
2) Set aside 30 minutes each month to pour a drink and go over your saving vehicles and investments, debts, and household cash flow.
3) Sit down, and create a simple net worth tracker. You’ll need some basic Excel knowledge. Bucket and record the value of your checking, savings, brokerage, retirement, gold chains, great grandma’s teeth, etc… Then bucket and record your debts, and if collateralized (i.e. home mortgage, auto loan), record the approximate value next to it.
4) Create a new tab within your newly minted Net Worth Excel file for tracking monthly household cash flow. Review and record your upcoming deposits vs. bills to get an idea of what you’re left with each month. See samples for ideas on bills and expenditures. Feel free to add discretionary spending (i.e. groceries/entertainment) if you like; remember make it your own, as elaborate as you like. Optional tab add-on: Investment vehicle tracking.
5) Lastly, do not forget to have fun with this. Having fun is contagious, and it may spread to your monthly meeting request.
Note that it’s OK if your net worth is negative. Remember, it is just a starting point, and you can catalog your progress each month.
One parting thought: Focus little on your investment returns until you return a little to yourself. Hug it out, and save until it hurts!
Previously published as a blog by Minyanville.
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of his employer or any other person or entity.