How Much Time Do You Spend On Your Personal Finances?

by Pam on January 2, 2012

Unless you are one of those people lucky enough to have an amazing advisor who keep you accountable and on track, you are probably like most of us who spend a minimal amount of time actually thinking about and planning strategies for personal finance.

I heard the other day that we spend approximately 20 hours a year planning for our vacations and just one or two hours a year on taking care of our personal finances!  Does that shock you?  It definitely shocked me.

It is true though, don’t you think?  I mean, life gets so busy and we have so many responsibilities, it’s just easier to say we’ll take care of our finances later.  But then we never do.

The result?  Lots of us end up with extremely tight circumstances when we retire because we just didn’t take the time to plan ahead.  But we can change this today.  We can decide to spend even one hour every month looking over our situation and making sure we are on track.

I think we can all do that.  Just make it part of your monthly routine.  It you are married, make sure you touch base with your spouse at least once a month and include them in your brainstorming and strategizing.

Things we can look at when doing our monthly check up include…

1. Am I saving enough to reach my current savings goals?

2. How much did I spend last month, and what did I spend it on?

3. Am I happy with my current spending habits or should I be changing my habits in some way?

4. Am I putting anything aside for my retirement?

5.  Do I have at least a few months worth of living expenses in an emergency fund?

6. What are some big expenses that I anticipate will be coming up shortly (such as winter tires, a much-needed car repair, etc.)  Do I have enough money to cover them?

By doing this simple check up every month we will be more likely to stay on track.  It may not even take you an hour to go through everything, and it may take you longer, but either way, let’s all get in the habit of keeping better tabs on our finances so we can control our money instead of the other way around.

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