The goal: Dedicate 1 hour a day, for 7 days, and improve the health of our finances.
Hour 1: (00:00 – 15:00)
Calculate how much money we actually have –
|401(k) / 403(b)|
Hour 1: (15:00 – 30:00)
Calculate how much money we actually owe –
|Credit Card 1|
|Credit Card 2|
Hour 1 (30:00 – 50:00)
Calculate how much money we actually plan to spend, this month –
|Mortgage / Rent|
|Credit Card Payment|
Hour 1 (50:00 – 60:00)
Is there anything that I can do, today, to increase the amount of money that I have?
Can I sell something on eBay? Can I begin to plan a yard sale? Can I apply for a second or new job? Can I ask for overtime?
Is there anything that I can do, today, to decrease the amount of debt that I have?
Can I make an extra payment? Can I call and ask for a reduction in interest rates? Can I consolidate higher rate credit cards? Can I go through that stack of bills and make sure that I’m making my payments on time?
Is there anything that I can do, today, to decrease the amount of money I plan to spend this week?
Can I cancel or make changes to my television programming package? Can I turn off lights and insulate windows? Can I eat at home and brown-bag-it for lunch? Can I carpool?
Over the course of this week, I’ll write six more articles about improving the health of our finances. Each article should take just a few minutes to read, and the steps outlined should take about an hour to do. Depending on the health of your finances, you might be able to breeze through the steps in just minutes – or it might take you much longer, if things are in need of repair. My goal, however, is to keep the steps to a minimum, and to make them as easy-to-follow as is possible.
Consider Hour 1. If you will take the time to do all of the steps outlined above, you’ll have a balanced checkbook, updated insight about your credit situation, and the beginnings of a full-fledged budget. And, you will have accomplished all of these things, in about an hour!