Financial awareness is power. Ignoring your money situation doesn’t change a dang thing. Your debt is still there. The bills still have to be paid. Your bank account will grow or deplete. Why not be ready for that, when it happens? Or better yet — plan every step.
A messy financial life takes a toll on your wellbeing. It translates into messy mental and emotional states. And, chances are, your physical surroundings are also getting cluttered up as a result of the chaos.
After weeks of stuffing receipts in books, hiding bills in drawers, and letting my inbox pile up with payment reminders, I took a couple hours yesterday evening to:
- Organize and clean my files.
- Open and immediately pay pending bills.
- Go through my entire email inbox and organize into folders.
- Make an upcoming financial to-do list.
- Put payment reminders and info in my calendar and in Evernote (good for passwords).
- Open a new cool bank account that actually makes me want to plan and scope out my financials, since my current bank is not available in SF. (And kind of sucks anyway.)
It all started with this video from author and money master Kate Northrup on ‘Breaking Habits That Keep You Financially Stuck.’
Some of my favorite lessons from Kate’s video:
- If we’re not actively dealing with our money on a daily basis, nothing will change.
- If you want more money, you have to respect the money you already have. Kate shares a neat way to organize bills in your wallet.
- You can’t break habits, only replace with new habits. Instead of picking up bills in the mail and putting them in a drawer, open and deal with the immediately.
I hope you take 10 minutes to watch the whole video. Besides being super helpful and inspiring, Kate’s darn cute, too.
And lastly, a question for you: How do you handle finances? Do you budget? Use a spreadsheet, or an online monitoring system, like Mint? Do you keep cash in multiple envelopes to prevent overspending, like Leo Babauta? Would love to hear all about your practices. Share in the comments below.