Few among us actually enjoy dealing with the paperwork and self-assessment involved in managing our money. Finance blog Five Cent Nickel suggests treating your money like you would the doctor or dentist: keep a recurring appointment with yourself.
Picture: Dafne Cholet/Flickr
We're used to setting up regular appointments with people we appreciate but don't necessarily enjoy seeing. While our finances may not be the most fun thing to deal with, you can use the same strategy on yourself:
Make an appointment with yourself — and keep it. Just as you'd make an appointment with a doctor or a mechanic, schedule a regular time to review your accounts and pay your bills. I recommend blocking out an hour on Saturday or Sunday morning. Keep the appointment every week. Treat it as a priority.
On the first Monday of each month, I check balances and pay bills. I also enter data into Quicken (I like to do this by hand), which allows me to generate financial statements. Most importantly, I review my spending to be sure it hasn't strayed too far out of budget.
As the site points out, this appointment isn't just about paying bills, but about reviewing your spending habits and assessing future changes. We can all veer off course if we're not careful. Unlike our medical or mechanical lives, our financial lives don't usually have an expert who will remind us what needs to be done. We have to do it for ourselves.
Make an appointment with yourself to manage your money [Five Cent Nickel]