Ever wish you had a handy Money Wellness Checklist? One containing the specific steps you must take to become – and STAY – financially strong and healthy? Your wish is my command!
Managing your personal finances might feel confusing and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are particular actions you should be taking weekly, monthly, and yearly to succeed financially. Once you reach a place of optimal money wellness, you’ll need to continue those healthy habits to stay there.
Your Money Wellness Checklist
What To Do Weekly:
You’ll need just 15 or 20 minutes for your weekly Money Date. If you keep this “appointment” faithfully, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of your personal finances. This helps you spot trouble quickly and allows you to course correct. What should you be doing weekly when it comes to money?
- Check your spending versus your plan/ budget
- Check your bank accounts for unexpected charges & errors
- Pay bills dues within the next 7 to 10 days
- Transfer money to savings accounts
- Discuss financial matters with your significant other
Tools like online banking, bill pay, a spending app (I recommend Mint), and automatic transfers streamline this weekly process, making it almost painless!
What To Do Monthly:
Once a month, you’ll invest a few more minutes into your Money Date. This is a time of reflection to step back and see how you are progressing on a larger scale with your personal finances. It’s important to balance the daily and weekly money management with your big picture goals. What should you be doing monthly when it comes to money?
- See how you did versus your plan last month
- Modify your budget/ spending plan for the upcoming month
- Transfer money to investment accounts
- Set aside money for taxes, if applicable
- Update your Net Worth sheet (at least quarterly)
The most important of these tasks are the first two: evaluating how the previous month went and planning for the next month. It might make sense to do some of these tasks quarterly, like updating your Net Worth sheet. If you’re self-employed, I advise setting aside money for your taxes monthly, even if you pay them quarterly!
What To Do Annually:
It’s easy to forget or procrastinate on the financial tasks that only need to be completed once a year. Trust me, I’m not immune to putting these things off either! I asked our attorney to make two minor modifications to our wills concerning our beneficiaries. Within a week, he sent them back to me, informing me that my husband and I needed to sign and notarize the revisions for them to take effect.
Guess what? I just found the unsigned documents on the bottom of a pile of paperwork on my desk. They’re dated December 28th… 2015! Eep! Guess we’re driving to the bank to have them notarized ASAP! So, what should you be doing annually when it comes to money?
- Meet with your Financial Planner
- Pull your credit report and check for accuracy (maybe quarterly if you’re actively working to improve your credit score.)
- Meet with your tax professional
- Review insurance policies and estate plans
- Set financial goals for the new year
There you have it, your handy-dandy Money Wellness Checklist! If you follow it, getting and staying financially healthy will be inevitable.