We all have those “Oh, I should probably get that checked” moments about our cars, our health, or even that weird noise your fridge makes at 3 AM. Well, our finances deserve that same attention. Money, often intertwined with our daily lives and future aspirations, requires periodic attention to ensure we’re on the right track. Whether it’s gauging the progress towards retirement goals, evaluating spending habits, or assessing investment strategies, a routine financial review can identify both strengths and vulnerabilities in our financial plans. Just as we wouldn’t neglect symptoms of physical ailments, it’s equally important not to overlook our financial indicators. Maybe you’re crushing your savings goals (high-five!), or perhaps you’re spending a tad too much on takeout (it’s okay, we’ve all been there). Starting a financial self-care routine is essential for ensuring long-term financial health and peace of mind. Here are 5 habits to get into to make sure your cash is working just as hard as you are!

Tracking Expenditures

Okay, first things first: tracking expenditures isn’t just for accountants or those super-organized folks with labeled everything. It’s for all of us who’ve ever thought, “Where the heck did my money go this month?” Before you do anything fancy, get a handle on what’s coming in and what’s flying out. Yup, income vs. expenses. How much do you make, and how much are you spending?

Categories are Your BFFs: Split your spending into categories. We’re talking rent, food, entertainment, that secret online shopping habit, the whole shebang. This way, you get a neat little pie chart (or a list if that’s your jam) showing where your cash is going.

Review and Repeat: Every month (or week, if you’re super into it), take a look at your spending. Celebrate the wins, learn from the oopsies, and adjust as you go. Is your spending aligned with your goals? What might you want to get rid of in lieu of something more significant?It’s important to worry less about a specific budget and more about putting money where goals are first and then intentionally spending what is left.

Weekly or Monthly Reviews: Set aside time, whether weekly or monthly, to go over your finances. This can involve checking your spending, evaluating your budget, and measuring progress towards your goals.

Annual Deep Dives: Once a year, do a thorough review of your financial health. This can include checking your credit report, rebalancing investment portfolios, or reassessing your insurance needs.

Remember, the idea isn’t to make you feel bad about that extra latte or those new kicks. It’s about understanding where your money’s going, making choices that align with what you want, and feeling good about those decisions.

Make sure your savings are growing

Depending on your personal situation, aim to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Opening a separate account may prevent you from dipping into it for non-emergencies.

Got your savings in a regular old bank account? Might be time to see if they can earn a tad more. Look into high-yield savings accounts or CDs (Certificate of Deposits) where your money can get some extra oomph thanks to better interest rates.

Dabble in Investing: If you’ve got some extra savings and you’re feeling a bit adventurous, why not dip a toe into the world of investing? Stocks, bonds, mutual funds – there’s a whole universe out there. Just remember, there’s potential for both growth and loss, so do your homework!

Automate It: If you’re not regularly putting money into savings, set up an automatic transfer. It’s like a monthly subscription to a wealthier future. Plus, you’ll be amazed at how those small, regular amounts add up over time.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term: Whether it’s saving for a vacation, buying a house, or preparing for retirement, set clear and specific financial goals for both the short and long term.
Remember to be realistic! It’s essential to set achievable goals. This can help prevent you from becoming discouraged and abandoning your financial self-care routine.

Check-in on your investments

Make it a habit to occasionally log into your investment account(s). You don’t need to obsess over daily numbers, but a regular check-in (maybe monthly or quarterly) keeps you in the loop.

Markets have their good and bad days. Sometimes they’re partying at the top, and sometimes they’re chilling at the bottom. It’s all part of the ride. So, don’t panic with every dip, and don’t get overly giddy with every peak.

Over time, your portfolio can drift from its original setup due to different performances in assets. Every once in a while, you might need to rebalance to get back to your preferred mix of stocks, bonds, etc. Every now and then, there’s news that might affect your investments. New laws, company changes, or global events. Keeping an ear out can help you make informed decisions.

Reflect on Your Goals: Maybe you started investing with a specific goal in mind, like buying a house, retiring early, or funding a world tour. As time goes by, goals can change. Make sure your investment strategy still aligns with where you want to go.

Get the most out of your health insurance policy

It’s not just about having it for those just-in-case moments. Make sure you know what you’re getting out of your policy!

Know Your Benefits: Alright, those policy documents? They’ve got the deets on what your plan offers. This could be anything from free yearly check-ups, mental health services, or even discounts on gym memberships.
Stay In-Network: Got a favorite doctor or specialist? Double-check to make sure they’re in your plan’s network. Visiting in-network providers usually means you’ll pay less out of pocket. And your wallet will thank you!

Utilize Preventive Care: A lot of plans offer preventive services (like vaccinations or screenings) at no extra cost. Use them!

Ask Questions: Not sure if something’s covered or how to get a particular benefit? Ring up your insurance’s customer service. They’re there to help.

Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA): If your plan comes with these, it’s like a golden ticket. You can stash away pre-tax money for medical expenses. Think of them as piggy banks for things like prescriptions, glasses, or that unexpected trip to the ER.

Review & Adjust: Maybe you’ve had some life changes, or you’ve noticed you’re paying for stuff you don’t need. Come renewal time, do a little review. Pick a plan that fits your current needs like a well-tailored suit.

Seek Expert Advice

As you become more financially aware, consider consulting with financial planners or advisors for specialized guidance. Whether you want to transform your relationship with money or grow and scale your business (or both!), we would love to be the coaches in your corner.

Remember, financial self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Your routine should cater to your unique situation and needs. Over time, with consistency and patience, you’ll find that managing your finances can become a source of empowerment rather than stress.

Wondering what you should be doing with your finances quarterly or monthly? We know just what you need! Create a spend plan that will help you own your future with our What You Need Instead of a Budget online course.