Money is generally a good thing. Scratch that. Money is generally a very good thing. With that said, it’s no surprise most of us want more of it.
I believe the surest way to become happy in life is to be both content and ambitious. A balancing act, indeed.
On the Due.com blog, we talk a lot about earning more money. This is the ambitious part of the happiness equation. But what about the content part? I believe money management falls into this category. While making money is great we also need to manage our money well. So do you? Do you manage money well? Let me ask you this. How much much time do you spend per week managing your money?
That’s right. We should all carve out time each week for money management. To protect the assets we already have in our possession. The following article will help you carve out an hour per week to manage your finances. That hour can make all the difference. Here’s what to do with your hour of power:
Examine Your Investments
How are your investments doing? Even if you’re a passive investor, it’s still good to take a look. Research ideas such as tax loss harvesting, rebalancing, dollar-cost-averaging, selling whatever is no longer subject to short-term capital gains and more.
Has a new investment company come onto the scene? Maybe check them out. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of companies such as Betterment and Wealthfront. They may be worth the expense for you.
Look over Your Budget
How well are you doing? Even if you don’t keep a strict budget, how well in general are you doing? Look over credit card statements and see how things are looking. Does anything surprise you? Now is a time to change your behavior if that needs to happen. Now is also a good time to review your credit score as many credit card companies now offer free credit scores displayed inside your online dashboard.
Analyze All Major Upcoming Purchases
Do you have any major purchases coming down the pipeline? Think of things like refrigerators, car tires, laptops, etc. Now is a good time to shop around for good deals. Or at least get familiar with your upcoming purchase.
Examine Your Income
How is your income doing? Should you ask for a raise at work? Do you work as a freelancer and have variable side income. If so, is your weekly income from that growing?
Freelancers must pay quarterly taxes. Even if you don’t need to, now is still a good time to examine your tax situation and get ready for April 15th.
Keep up with Percentages
This is a fun thing some people do – create a percentage-based budget. A percentage-based budget is a budget that allows you to responsibly inflate your lifestyle. For instance, let’s say you have a hobby of collecting Japanese cars from the 1990’s. It’s perfectly fine if you allocate 5% of your annual income towards this hobby. Right now, that may only be $3,000 per year. This is enough for a new car every few years. Or a few major modifications to your current car each year. Is that not enough? Simple. You can go earn more money. Then, you can keep spending more and more money on cars with no regret.
When examining your budget, make sure you’re keeping up with each category. Have you spent enough in your gifting category? Have you spent enough in your self-improvement category? Can you begin buying organic because your food category is a little low?
One Hour per Week
You have 168 hours each week. Isn’t one of them worthy of your financial examination?