7 Money Moves To Do Every Month to Reset, Refresh and Get Ahead
Today I will share with you 7 money moves you can do every month in order to reset, refresh and get ahead of your finances. The beginning of every month is a crucial time frame especially for your financial health.
It is the perfect time to ponder upon what you are doing well and realize what could be improved moving forward. If you really want to reset, refresh and get ahead of your money matters, then this post is a timely read for sure.
Related read: 13 Things I Did For My Finances
1.) Perform a Month End Financial Review
I cannot stress how important reviewing your finances is.
This is a necessary one out of the other money moves in this list.
If this is the first you heard about financial review or you have not done one yet, then here’s a quick introduction about it.
A financial review is a full check-up of how your money dealings. This is done to ensure that you are spending no more than the necessary and you are aligned with the financial goals you set for yourself.
It only takes a couple of minutes to do as well. Just pick up a blank sheet of paper and a pen and follow the instructions below.
How to do a month-end review?
A month-end review is a good way to set yourself on a better pace for the coming new month. In this activity you will recall and record what happened in the past month and assess what could be better out for the next month in terms of how you manage money.
Month-end reviews works just like year-end reviews:
First, re-evaluate your goals. If you set your goals at the start of the month then you can revisit and review the status.
What goal/s is/are done or accomplished already? Is there any goal that’s not relevant anymore? Example: Have you created a budget for the month of June? Were you able to pay down Php xxxx.00 to debt? How much extra income were you able to get from your side hustles?
Second, review your spending habits. Find out who and how you are when it comes to spending your money lately. Are you saver or spender? Do you spend more on your needs or your wants?
Third, next actions for your side hustle. Think what you can do more for your side hustle next month. Is there any activity that could help increase your income? Do you need more traffic for your blog? Or you need to advertise your services more?
Lastly, list down your next actions. Once you’re done with steps 1-4, you can now make an action list. Commit yourself in doing the items written in your next action list to start the new month strong!
2.) Review your spending habits
For the second part, you want to zero in with how you are spending you money.
If you track your expenses every single day this is the time where you categorize each. How much did you spend on transportation for the month of June? How about your food allowance? Did you overspend on going out/dinner with friends?
Taking a closer look with your spending habits is very important. It will reveal who and how you are with your money. Whether you are a saver or a spender and what could be done with it. Recording your spending line by line may seem daunting at first but once you merge it with your daily routine, it will become a habit that’s hard to let go.
3.) Check All Your Financial Accounts
This is similar to a net worth tracker but focusing only with your assets. Take an inventory of all the financial accounts you own from savings accounts, investment accounts to possessions that have market value.
Have a deeper dive into the numbers and see whether you are still prioritizing saving money and adding in your investments. Understand your asset allocation and if it is now time to liquidate your investments. How are your returns? Are there any investment options worth looking into?
4.) Update Your Net Worth
Another important money moves you should do every month to reset, refresh and get ahead is to update your net worth.
I hope by this time you are already done calculating your net-worth. Net worth is a simple difference between your assets and liabilities. It is your financial number and something that should be updated from time to time to give you a concrete road map for what’s to come.
The importance of knowing your net worth as early as now is to help you in your financial decisions. Once you have an overview of what you own, you can now examine whether they are giving you any active or passive income.
You can deliberate whether to let go of an item or not. You can realize how many funds are being wasted that should have been part of your debt payments. Once your done calculating your personal net worth you can now review your current financial status. You can do this every three months or whenever you have a big financial decision to think about. Again your aim is to have a positive net worth, more than positive if possible.
As you progress in your journey, your financial number continues to grow. Here are my updated monthly net worth for your reference.
Your net worth is the single most important metric you need especially when you’re starting to take control of your money and life. Read how: How to Take Control of Your Finances This 2019
5.) Update your yearly goals
Successful people know the value of setting goals. Goals give you long-term and short-term motivation. It shapes how you will spend your time and your resources better so you can make the most out of your life.
If you are not setting goals then you are missing a ton of opportunities for growth. I highly recommend making a list today.
Every month I see to it that I update the progress of my goals. I believe one of the biggest mistakes I made last year was not reviewing and taking notes of my progress. Thankfully, I learned my lesson and this 2019 I want to do it every month and be as transparent as possible.
Here’s an example of goals I set up for the year:
Examine your current life and determine where you want to be financially in a year.
This can be your starting point. Make sure you set your goals S.M.A.R.T. meaning they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. There’s a big difference between goals and resolutions.
In fact the very reason we fail with our goals and resolutions is because we don’t know the difference. Guilty din ako dito.
Goals are specific, resolutions are vague. Goals are what you want to achieve. Resolutions are what you want to change.
Here’s a sample Resolution:
Save more money.
Rephrasing the above as a goal would be: I will save 25% of my take home pay every pay day as part of my savings.
Other examples of resolutions:
1. Stronger relationship with God
2. Have more time with family
3. Get more sleep
4. Read more
When turned to Goals:
1. Attend Church service regularly.
2. Spend quiet time with God daily through morning devotions and evening Bible study.
3. Plan out a family vacation/road trip for 2018.
4. Spend most dinners after work at home.
5. Get ready to bed by 10pm daily.
6. Spend 15-30mins before bed time and 15-30mins during long commute reading.
The more Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely the item is, the better.
6) Set Your Next Month’s Goals
Once done with your yearly goals and reviewing what happened in the past month, you can now try to set a few goals for the new month.
Since I found out during my monthly review that I spend too much money on lunch, my goal for next month is to be stricter. I also set goals for my personal, blog and work life.
Put 4-5 goals for each month and make sure they are in line with your yearly goals. If you are having a hard time setting goals try using categories. For example, have a goal for your savings and investments (how much you will save and invest next month). How do you plan to grow your income next month? Are you working on a side hustle?
How about your spending habits? Where can you spend your time and money for more value?
7) Prioritize learning about money
As Warren Buffett said: “Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.”
Investing in yourself and your financial IQ is one of the best money moves you can ever do. And this is not just every money, but every day as well. Choose to invest in more knowledge as to how you can save money, grow your current income or pay down debt effectively.
Stock your shelves with new books or free ebooks you can find online. I believe we all ought to be actively improving what we know about personal finance. Yes, the basics is what will keep us on the right direction.
But advance knowledge is what will give us the advantage over the others. Become a superlearner.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
Each of our financial situations is unique. Our income, savings rate and spending preferences is different in every level. But these seven money moves offer an approach for us to take control of our finances (and life) better. It may seem too much at first but as you go on, they will be part of your monthly habits for sure.
Prioritize your finances
Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org