I read a book several years back called Money Drunk, Money Sober by Julia Cameron (if you’re familiar with The Artist’s Way, that Julia Cameron) and Mark Bryan. I tweaked their advice for my own life and it’s a jumping off point I use with clients who are trying to get their finances in order.
Money Past: What You Owe
It is very important to be honest with yourself about who you owe and how much you owe them. Sit down with the information from ALL your creditors and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Create a detailed list of what you owe. Yes, this number may be scary. But knowledge is power and this honest look at your finances is a great starting point to set you up for financial success.
Money Present: What Goes In & Out
Are you aware of which bills are due for your upcoming paycheck? How much will you have left over after you pay what you owe? Do you spend first and hope there’s enough left for the bills? Now is the time to set up a system to track the deposits and withdrawals in your bank account. Whether you prefer electronic or paper, developing a budget plan will ensure your bills are paid and that you know how much money you REALLY have.
Money Future: Prepare for the Unexpected
Whether you call it a “Savings Account,” “Rainy Day Fund,” or “Fun Money,” it is important to have a bit put away for when you need it. Think of yourself as a creditor to yourself. Pay your savings just like you would any other bill. It can start out as small as $25 or $50 a paycheck. But when the time comes when you need to unexpectedly buy new tires or a trip to Disney, you’ll be glad you started saving.
Please share any tips you've used for getting your finances organized below. Got a question about getting your financial house or physical house in order? Feel free to contact me at Christy@SimpleSolutionsDesign.firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.