ST. CROIX INSIGHTS
4 Financial Steps – I want to know where your money goes?
BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC
Doesn’t that seem to be the $64,000 question when you review your finances? You make good money and it seems to never be enough. Where does your money go? Let’s talk about 4 different financial steps to take.
I’ve opened up my credit card statement for the month and I can’t remember where I spent so much money without looking at the details. But, once I look at the detailed bills, I go oh “Yep, right there. I remember that, I remember that.” I always wonder how the heck did it add up so fast? I can’t be the only one that this has happened to. Have you experienced this?
Does it seem money just disappear in seconds yet it takes so darn long to earn it? Have you ever received a bonus and once you received that bonus within a day or two it’s gone?
Here are four steps easy steps to follow to know where your money goes:
1. Make technology your friend
With online financial software, you can not only track your day-to-day spending, establish a budget and see daily where you stand financially. Investing a few hours now will turn into real money overtime in your pocket. Mint.com is a good option and I use Emoney as it ties into comprehensive financial planning software along with budgeting software. You can print all kinds of reports and most importantly track your financial progress.
2. Cash is great but it’s hard to track down the penny
The reason I like cash is I seem to spend less vs. using my Marriott Rewards card. But, I do like all the upgrades and perks that come along with using a credit card and it does make it easy to link my transactions to my financial software. With cash, you must be disciplined about manually entering all your spending into your software.
3. Establish a base-line of spending over 90 to 120 days
It becomes surprising when you start looking month-to-month where all your money goes. This will allow you to make some easy, yet some hard decision about your spending patterns.
4. Financial “leakage” happens everyone
It’s generally not the mortgage or the car payment, but rather just everyday life that really gets us. It all adds up. $5 here. $50 there. $250 here. It all adds up to real money each month. It’s called financial leakage. We all have it yet, some of us are better than others at controlling it.
With knowledge about your money, you become even more powerful and capable of reaching your financial goals. You can make better, informed decisions along with reducing your financial stress and aligning your actions with your values is empowering.
St. Croix Advisors, LLC is an investment advisory firm. We seek to help our clients achieve financial simplicity. Before implementing financial ideas you read, work with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or CPA for advice or recommendations that fit your own financial situation.