As you know, I work for CommunityAmerica and spend a lot of time helping our members get on the right path to financial freedom. It’s great to see the successes they have when they have a plan, outline a budget and stick to it. Seeing successes on a daily basis makes it so easy to look forward to work! It also leads to regular reflection about my own personal situation, because nobody’s perfect.
With my husband and three kids, I feel like I (and my wallet) get pulled in all different directions. And although I try to always practice what I preach, sometimes I stray. But this month we’re officially starting a financial cleanse and I couldn’t be more excited and ready for the challenge!!
We recently met with our financial advisor to outline our plan, set goals, etc. It was a great experience and we came out of it with three key takeaways to tackle immediately:
1) Have a “date night” every week: And no we’re not talking about hitting the town and spending a lot of money; this is more about finding some quiet time for the two of us to re-establish us as a team. We may hit up a morning movie matinee (with no popcorn) and trade a baby-sitting day with the neighbors. Then once a month, this date night will include a financial discussion to determine how we’re doing, are we following our plan, etc.
2) Track all receipts: We’ve been doing this in July and I must say at first it was somewhat overwhelming, but has been eye opening. I’ve always balanced my checkbook and had a good idea of where my money was going, but this exercise has been intense. Not only are we tracking every receipt in a receipt ledger, I’m categorizing the expenses from each receipt. So let’s say I get groceries, personal items and diapers at Target. Yep, those expenses would go in three different categories to help us know exactly how much we’re spending on everything. Now I actually think it’s kind of therapeutic…
3) Set up a will and trust: This is one of those things we all say we’re going to do, but keep putting it off. The truth of the matter, thinking about what would happen to the kids should something happen to us isn’t the most pleasant experience, but it’s become a motivator, and extremely important step to do NOW to ensure everything is taken care of before the unthinkable happens. Yeah, there will be an expense associated with this, but it’s an expense that could end up saving lots of heartache and worry down the road.
I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress throughout this cleanse. Lance and I are going to make this a competition to see whose better at staying on track. Hey, a little friendly competition in this instance can only help, right?