Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
In our already busy lives, who has time to manage money on top of all our responsibilities? Between the kids’ sports, grocery shopping, working, cooking and cleaning, what more can we add to our plate? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect at managing everything but I do manage the money for my household. Would you believe me if I told you I manage my finances in under 3 hours per month? Yes! It takes me less than 3 hours every month to get my family’s finances organized. That’s an average of 6 minutes per day.
Granted, I laid the ground work to be at the place a long time ago. But I learned if you do the hard work once, you don’t have to think about it again. I have 2 kids, a husband, and I work full time in addition to blogging. I am a busy woman. Anytime I can save some time, and money, I am going to try it.
When I first started getting my finances together, it took me FOREVER to gather the information I needed! I didn’t know what to look for, who to ask, and why I needed it. I knew I needed to make a budget and pay down my debt but seemed overwhelming. Eventually I made a realistic budget, debt repayment plan, and mapped out some goals.
Read more about making a budget, 4 Steps to Making a Budget that Works
Read more about debt repayment plans, The Ultimate Guide on Creating a Debt Repayment Plan
Every day I check my bank account. That’s it. That is the only daily task I have in my money management routine. I must confess… I check my bank account it the parking lot before walking into work. It takes me less than two minutes thanks to mobile apps. Just login, quickly scan purchases, and done!
I check my bank account every day to review purchases from the previous day and make sure there are no fraudulent charges. I had my identity stolen in the past and it is not fun. Although that was 10 years ago, I definitely learned my lesson about protecting my identity.
Read more about protecting yourself from identity theft, 7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Estimated Time: 2 minutes per day
Every week I reconcile my bank accounts in my money management software, YNAB (You Need A Budget). Since all of my bank accounts and investment accounts are linked into YNAB, there is no manual entry to worry about. Occasionally, I would have to assign a budget category to a new expense but that’s it. Really! Seriously, get a money management software. Mint.com is free. I will be posting a review of Mint soon.
Estimated Time: 20 minutes per week
Once I month, I review the budget for the next month. I make any adjustments that affect my budget such as cancelled subscriptions and new expenses. This is also the time I move money between budgeting categories to cover an upcoming event that I may have forgotten such as birthday parties, field trip fees and more. That is all I do monthly. Hard to believe?
Estimated Time: 20 minutes per month
Yes, I have bills and no, I don’t forget about them. Ready to know how I save time every month by not taking time to pay bills…..AUTOMATE. I automate all of my bills. Automating bills means to have your bills paid automatically, every month, from your bank account. My bills are paid through the bill pay feature of my checking account. This takes a couple of months to completely set up but it is worth it. Automating my bills has saved me so much time and headaches every month. No more missed payments. I even automate my savings account (the bill I charge myself). I continue to live my life while building my net worth. If you don’t automate, you need to start!
Be careful with automating all of your bills, you still need to review every statement each month to make sure the companies are not overcharging you for anything. This statement review will only take about a minute or two for each bill.
Estimated Time: 20 minutes per month
Final time total:
Daily: 2 minutes x 30 days = 60 minutes
Weekly: 80 minutes x 4 weeks = 1 hour 20 minutes
Monthly: 20 minutes
Bill Statement Review: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Can you spare 3 hours per month to manage your money?