Finances can be really difficult to get a handle on. Especially if you haven’t really thought much about them in awhile.
There are a lot of moving parts:
- How much are you making?
- What debts do you have?
- What bills are coming in?
- What do you need to save for?
- Are you investing?
- Are you investing the right amount?
This 3-day blog series will walk you through taking control of your finances and setting yourself on a path to financial stability.
At this exact moment, the world is in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, and it has caused a lot of people to evaluate where they are financially. The great thing about this series, is that it’s mostly focused on taking stock of where you are at the moment and then you can move on towards a plan of action. Since most of us are stuck at home, what better time than now!
So whether you’re out of work and scared or are using an emergency budget, you can still take control of your finances and be ready to win as soon as this is over (whether that’s in one month or six).
You may not reach financial stability at the end of the three days, but you’ll be organized enough that you can start working towards your financial goals with a good handle on where you are and where you want to be.
Each lesson will include a worksheet that will help you get a good picture of your current financial situation and then move forward to putting a plan in place to reach your goals.
Let’s get started!
Ok, the first step in taking control of your finances is to figure out where all of your money is going. We’ll set up a budget on Day 3, but before that, you need to take inventory of the money that you owe other people.
When you have debt, that is money that is leaving your account every month whether you like it or not. (Pandemic note: even if you’ve deferred payments, figure out what you own on a normal month). Knowing what that number is is the first step to taking control of your finances.
So, print off the Debt Inventory and list all of your debts on that sheet. Running a credit report might make this a little easier to see everything in one place. Make sure to include:
- Car payments
- Student loans
- Credit cards (major cards and store cards)
- 401k loans
- Personal loans
If the number is bigger than you thought, don’t freak out! Take a deep breath. This was money that you were paying whether you knew the number or not. Knowing how much you owe, while sometimes painful, is going to give you a good starting place for the budget you’ll set up on Day 3 and open your eyes to exactly where your money is going.
Ok, that’s it for Day 1. See you back here tomorrow!