With the New Year well in motion and Valentine’s Day just around the next bend, it’s time to show your finances some love. If you’re one of those Americans who resolve to keep track of your finances for 2020, then there’s a decent chance that your goal has fallen by the wayside or at the very least lost your attention.
There are hundreds of if not thousands of simple check-ups you can do to your finances. We’ve put together a few of the most loving ways you can cuddle up to your money.
Check Your Bank Account Daily
It may seem a little obsessive at first, but checking on your bank account every day is a perfect way to love your finances. You likely already have your bank’s app at your fingertips, so make a habit of looking in on your balance every day.
Doing this will keep you aware of where your money is going and how much of it you have and have access to. This awareness will help you limit unnecessary spending, make better purchase decisions, and better evaluate your financial priorities.
Keep a Written Spending Diary
There’s a century-old Japanese budgeting system known as Kakeibo which helps generate and create mindfulness of your finances and spending. While it’s far more complex than simply checking your bank account statement daily and keeping a spending diary, these are two great ways to get started with financial mindfulness.
Start a financial journal by jotting down your regular money outflows and break them down into simple categories such as needs, wants, culture, and unexpected spending. Where many people find this most useful is the physical act of writing down the things you want to spend money on. Doing so makes you more mindful and thoughtful of where your money is going and can help curb unneeded or superfluous spending.
Set a Budget
This may seem obvious to the savvy personal financier, but if you’re just starting to fall in love with your finances then it’s a great starting place.
There are myriad online apps that can help you keep track of a budget and your overall spending and income. You can just as easily create a spreadsheet or track your budget by hand if that suits you better. Regardless of your approach, it’s crucial to understand your monthly income and regular expenditures as well as any extra spending along the way.
Keep it simple at first and track your budget month-to-month. Creating an annual budget, as many businesses do, tends to be burdensome and confusing on the household level. Be patient as it may take a month or two for you to get the hang of your spending and make appropriate adjustments.
Budgeting is a great way to get a high-level overview of your finances, but without setting some goals along the way the extra money you’re saving may get lost in the shuffle.
Take a step back and think about your financial goals for the current year and beyond. Do you want to save for retirement? Thinking about going on a vacation? Perhaps you’re looking to buy your first home? Your financial values and future goals will dictate your goal setting and give you something to focus on.
If buying a home is part of your financial agenda, then contact the loan experts at Tidewater Mortgage Services, Inc. For over 20 years, Tidewater has helped thousands of buyers get the funding they need to buy a home. Apply online and you can get pre-qualified in as little as 24 hours!