So, you have your budget set up, your debt snowball is up and running, your savings and investments are on auto-pilot, and you are moving forward with your money goals.
You are on the road to financial freedom! No need to do anything further with your finances, right?
You have merely set up the systems and framework to manage your money and to help you reach your goals. You still need to review your finances on a periodic basis to make sure you are still heading in the right direction and that your goals still make sense for your life.
How often should you be checking in? I suggest a high-level review every 90 days. It doesn’t have to be an in-depth, sit down review with your financial advisor (if you have one, which I do recommend). It should be a quick 15-30 minute look every three months to check your account balances, assess your progress and see if any changes need to be made, like increasing/decreasing your investment contributions, changing insurance needs, or planning for adjustments in your budget.
Taking the time every 90 days to check in with your finances will give you the confidence that you will reach your goals by making adjustments to your financial plan. It will provide you a sense of control that you are in the driver’s seat of your financial life and that you are happening to your money vs your money is happening to you. Having financial confidence and making a plan to be purposeful with your money is one of the most empowering things in life. Make sure you continue to make your money work for you by ensuring you are still on financial path that make the most sense to you.
Here are some things you should consider and review with your money every 90 days:
Check in with your goals. It’s good to review the financial goals that you have set and assess whether you are making progress with your goals. Do you have a goal to be debt free? Do you have a goal to save a down payment for a home? Maybe you are saving up for a dream vacation. Check in to see what the current balances are towards those goals.
Determine if there are new goals that need to be set, or current goals need to be changed. Life is constantly changing and with it, our money goals change as well. You need to review whether or not the money goals you have set for yourself still make sense. Job changes, getting married, a move across country – these are a few examples of live events that can all have impact on your financial goals. You may have reached a financial goal – like becoming debt free – and you need to create new goals.
Assess what areas you have succeeded and what areas you need to work on. Nobody is perfect when it comes to money. We all succeed and fail with money, even when we have learned a ton about money and how it works. Maybe you still have trouble sticking to your budget. Maybe you recognize that you are spending more impulsively than you thought when you reviewed your spending. Maybe you are dipping into savings more than you realized. Or maybe you are missing out on investing opportunities that you didn’t realize. Changing your money behaviors are vital to making sure you are making good money decisions to reach your financial goals.
How often do you review your finances? What are the money areas that you review?