If you’re in the Money Circle Facebook group, or if you’re one of my coaching clients, you know that I tell people to take a minute minute at least once a week. A money minute, which is a term I heard of from Alexa Von Tobel, is the time that you take to dedicate to getting up to date on your finances. Sometimes it can simply consist of sitting down for five to ten minutes and reviewing your spending. The more often you do this, the better off you’ll be. And here’s why:
You’ll Be More Aware
The more you pay attention to your money, the more awareness you’ll have. The more awareness you have, the more in control you’ll feel of your money and your life. Some people think that if they just avoid their money issues, they’ll feel better. But that approach actually makes people feel less in control and more overwhelmed. Awareness might not always feel good at first, but it puts the power back in your hands. It gives you the knowledge you need to take action and get yourself into a better situation.
It’ll Take Less Time
The more often you do something, the easier it gets. The easier something gets, the more quickly you can do it. One of the most common excuses I hear about managing a budget is that it is too time consuming. If you haven’t organized your finances in years, it might take a few hours to get things in order and under control. But once you’ve done that, the hard part is done. After that, it shouldn’t take you very long to check in and update your budget every week. That’s because you only have a week of spending to track, rather than months or years. So the more often you check in with your money, the faster it’ll be!
You Can Adjust Your Plans
I once had a client who decided to take her money minute on Sunday mornings, which she also used as her time to plan out her week. She would look at her calendar to see what her plans were, map out her meals for the week, and set a spending budget accordingly. It was a great way to feel informed and in control of her schedule and money. Plus, if she realized that she had overbooked herself for the week and that she wouldn’t be able to afford all of the plans, she could adjust things. For example, she could change plans from happy hour into buying a cheap bottle of wine and catching up together at home. Checking in with your money every week will allow you to do this as well. You don’t have to be antisocial to stay within budget, you just might have to adjust the details of your socializing.
You Have Time To Catch Up
The main reason that I recommend checking in with your money weekly is that you’re giving yourself more time to take control over your spending. If you wait until the end of the month to look at your spending, it’ll be too late to catch up and stay within your budget. If you look at your spending weekly, you can more quickly see if you’ve been spending more than you can afford. Then, you can cut back on your spending and change your plans accordingly.
Now go on and pick a day and time each week that you’ll sit down and take your money minute.
Certified Financial Education Instructor. Feminist and financial coach for women. Founder of Money Circle.