Step 18 is all about starting a new and incredibly powerful habit, one that will allow you to focus on your mission, realign your spending and savings patterns to your goals and get closer each time until little by little one day you tick off your first goal, then your second one, your third, until you realize you are able to hit your goals one after the other.
This new super habit is starting a weekly finance review, during which you will go through your goals and some of the main steps we have covered up til now, and when you work your way through the next 82 steps that are still to come, you will add some of those steps to your weekly review too. In that way you consistently hold yourself accountable for your success as you review whether you are on track (or not) for the rest of the month, and what adjustments need to be made in order to make sure you will achieve your goals for the month, and with that ultimately those much desired long-term goals.
Every week at a time that suits you best, (Sunday afternoon, Saturday morning, an evening during the week, you decide what works for you), you make an appointment with yourself to review your finances. At the start of each review the very first thing you do is already scheduling your next appointment with yourself. If for whatever reason you cannot have the review at your regular day / time, you immediately work out when you can, and write it in your agenda. This habit is simply too important to risk forgetting about it next time.
From now on that weekly review time moment is SACRED, it is your time to achieve what you have set out to achieve. You won’t budge and you won’t move this appointment, unless in case of absolute need, emergency or because you believe it is the right thing to do based on your values. That means that if your dad who is 70 and lives 200 km away is visiting you for the weekend, you absolutely move the appointment ahead of time and schedule it to just before or after your dad’s stay. It means that when you are playing a new computer game that you are really into and you just don’t feel like giving up right now, tough luck, this is NOT a valid reason to move your appointment. Give yourself a kick up the bum, turn off your computer and just get to it.
Success depends on one thing, and one thing only: You. You make it work or you fail. It is this appointment with yourself and this appointment ONLY that will determine your success or failure of the 100 steps. Give up on this time and you’ll give up on your goals, your mission and your financial success.
(After the 30 minutes review, you can go back to playing that computer game by the way.)
Step 18 – Start a Weekly Finance Review – in detail
- Take your agenda and find 30 minutes this week when you will do your first finance review. Try to find a time and day that you feel might be your long-term moment to do this. If you don’t know, just schedule it for now and experiment with days and times.
- During your review go through the following steps:
- Firstly schedule your very next Finance Review time. Do this first, not last, as then you’ll likely forget.
- Read your financial goals. Ideally you do this often (i.e. every day) anyway, but you definitely want to do this during your finance review.
- Update your expenses log. As you know, in an ideal world your log is always up to date, but we all know that things slip through at times or you might not have updated those automatic payments yet.
- Empty your wallet or purse and go through any receipts (check them in the register), then throw them out if you no longer need them or file them if needed for tax or warranty purposes.
- Check your budget and see how you are doing for your monthly expenses: are you still on track? Have you still got enough left over for each category for the rest of the month? Do you need to make adjustments? Have your plans for the rest of the mont changed? Modify your budget if needed, better now than realizing at the end of the last month your budget was way off and your overspent by about a million.
- Check how you are doing with the limiting one expense challenge: how much have you saved already? Do you need to adjust the amount you think you will have saved by the end of the month?
- Have any bills come in you can check and file (and automate for next time if this isn’t already the case?).
- Anything else that you want to review weekly, make sure to add it to the notes for this time.
They say that if you want to become a writer all you have to is write: write when you feel like it, write when you don’t feel like it and write when you’d do anything in the world to not have to write. I believe this is true for anything, whatever it is you are hoping to achieve, you need to just get on with it, so here’s to your new habit! Good luck.