Clean Up Your Financial House {Day 9 to a Renewed You}

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Set yourself up for success financially this year. Get your stuff in order.

Clean Up Your Financial House {Day 9 to a Renewed You} - Set yourself up for success financially this year. Get your stuff in order.

Today’s assignment is to clean up your financial house.

You may not be able to get it spic and span, today’s the day to get started. I’m not super big on “you have to make changes on January 1st or else”, but this week truly is the time to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, with your finances.

You don’t get a completely “clean slate” on the first of the year, but the tax man does read your financial situation according to the calendar year. Now is a great time to set up some good habits. Here are some tasks to tackle this week in order to get your financial house a little more tidy:

1. Clean out your wallet.

Today’s the day to clean out the wallet. Mine is chock full of receipts from the last month. Ugh! Time to empty, sort, and file.

While you’re at it, cull all your gift cards in one place, check the balances, and make a plan to use those gift cards before you forget you have them or a service charge is assessed on the card.

2. Balance your checkbook.

This past year I did a MUCH better job than years previous at bookkeeping regularly. I’m a month behind now thanks to the flu and a busy holiday season, but that’s better than the SIX MONTHS I used to let it lag before.


3. Set up your files for the new year.

Check out last year’s post for setting up financial files for the year. If you have a place to put financial records and receipts, you’ll be more likely to put them there. Be sure to print out these budgeting forms to help you access your progress each month.

4. Create a budget for the month.

In our early years of marriage, budgeting was not only a struggle, but it was also impossible. There was no way that I could crunch the numbers to fit the ideal month since every month was different; budgets are especially tricky when you’re self-employed. We struggled for years.

When we finally got serious about our finances, we made a new budget every month. A ha! That worked.

Create a budget for the month of January with your spouse and discuss it in-depthly, finding strategies to make it work. Then plan a money meeting for next month. And the month after that.

5. Pay off your debts.

You know how passionate I am about getting out of debt. If you owe money, make a plan to pay it off this year. Last year we made a dream come true: we sold our rental property in KC which was such a weight on us. It’s amazing to have so few bills each month. You will love the freedom that living debt-free gives you.

6. Analyze your investments.

Begin a savings account for something you want. Make sure you have a little something to set aside for retirement. Build your savings.

Okay, so you’re not going to be able to do all these things in one day. That’s okay. Just spend 30 minutes today. And again tomorrow. And again the next day. Chip away at the tasks until your financial house is in super duper shape. You can do it!

What’s top on your list for cleaning up your financial house?

12 Days to a ReNEWed You | Life as MOM

This post is part of a 12-part series, 12 Days to a Renewed You. You can read through the archives here.

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  1. I love how encouraging this post is, Jessica. It can seem daunting to get your finances in order, but it helps to remember that it is really just a bunch of small steps. Our financial goals for 2015 will be the same as 2014: to live as simply as possible so that every possible dollar can go towards paying off our mortgage.

    Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

  2. You wont believe,

    It was just today morning that I talked about the monthly expense marking required with my hubby.

    Every month we used to say but never carried out the plan, From Jan we are planning to start with a clean slate and hurrah your post came just in time 🙂

    Thanks a ton. Eagerly waiting for your next posts in this series.

  3. Check out YNAB (You Need a Budget). It is a budgeting program that has literally changed my life. My youngest son turned me on to it, and now 2 more of my adult children use it also. It is an online program that costs $60 (one time only) and they offer a 35-day free trial before purchasing. The whole premise of the program is that you decide where to spend your money when you actually receive it, and track every expenditure as you make it. If you have a smart phone, you can enter purchases right when you check out at the store and it instantly updates to YNAB. It is very user-friendly and their customer service is outstanding. It is very similar Dave Ramsey’s principles, but is very much easier to track where you are at any specific moment.

  4. Um – all of the above! Sigh.
    I am late getting started… and that’s ok. I am going to get through the Pantry Challenge and starting in Feb…. I will be all set to budget and pay off and live more frugally!
    I will have my own Fiscal Year. HA

  5. I’m glad that you don’t like credit card debit. We are in the process of paying off our debt this year. One question, If you are in credit card debt do you think it is good to also have a Savings Account?

    Thank you,