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One of the positive financial habits that I am learning to develop is to perform a monthly check of my finances. Blackrock, an asset management firm found that women who are considered Smart Savers spend more than 7 hours per month reviewing and making changes to their savings and investments.
How do I apply this practice?
On the 12th of each month (I have this set-up as a recurring calendar appointment), I spend at least 1 hour where I pull up my networth tracker (download your copy here) and answer 2 questions:
How did I do this month?
To answer this question, I open all my savings and investments accounts, look at the current values and add them into my networth tracker. Where the investments have grown, I mark them in green and where there a losses, I mark them in red. This allows to me visually see how each asset is performing month to month.
If you have any liabilities like a student loan which you are slowly paying off, you can also use the tracker to make a record of your financial performance.
To finish up, I sum up (automated via the tracker) the values of my assets and liabilities to re-calculate my overall networth. This singular figure allows me to know how I am progressing towards my own financial goals.
Do I need to make any changes?
Once I have updated my networth tracker, I look at each assets/liability and decide if I want to make any adjustment.
Example of adjustments:
This month (October 2018), I chose to add new funds to my brokerage account that focus on investing in small sized businesses around the world. I also chose to add bonds to my LISA account which I have chosen to be my personal pension savings account.
I began record keeping in November 2015.
This practice has provided me with better control of my finances. It has also enabled me to plan and to be flexible with making changes which contributes to making me a more confident investor.
I truly believe that if you do not know where you are, you cannot decide where you are going. I encourage you to develop your own record keeping practice set a date, use a spreadsheet or an App and GO!
Do you keep a record? Which Apps do you use? Let me know.