As an individual growing up, I probably didn’t put myself on the calendar. My parents were business owners and we were always busy. A couple of years ago, I realized that as a business person I was putting things on the calendar – projecting firm revenue & cash flow however, my personal finances were not getting the attention they needed, other than the day-to-day. It just wasn’t happening. So, I decided to make an appointment with myself on a quarterly basis. This means I’m reviewing retirement accounts, investments, and the family goals. Since I’m also a business person, I’m looking at what my business accomplished in the prior quarter and what it needs to accomplish for the next. I also review cash flow and profit on a 30-day basis. Due to the attention I’m giving my personal and business finances, I feel more secure in the decisions I make. Doing this has also increased my commitment and accountability by making ME a priority.
For some people, quarterly reviews may be too overwhelming, but financial reviews ought to take place at least annually. Most people want to make their finances a New Year’s resolution, which is great. It’s a powerful time of year. However, for those who only review on an annual basis, I’ve found August or September to be more flexible. It allows you to revisit where you are and make corrective changes, such as deferring more to your 401(k), or checking out the usage on your flex spending account and make sure you haven’t put in too little or too much.
You have to make YOU a priority. You have to make time for yourself. Otherwise, it just fritters away. No matter how busy we are, we need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture.
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