Today we're continuing our Goal Action Ideas series with a Finance edition, supplying you with a bank of ideas for your Tending Lists on that topic. Like all overwhelming things, cultivating a stronger, more streamlined financial life is done through embracing little by little progress, and digging in even when things seem messy. I'd love to hear YOUR ideas, so please drop them in the comments! (In fact, many of the ideas in this post came from awesome PowerSheets users in our Facebook group!)
Though I've loved all of the topics we've covered in this series, I most definitely have a soft spot for today's. First, because I am extremely passionate about the freedom that comes from having your financial house in order, and therefore so happy to be your enthusiastic tour guide in this world. Second, because finances can just be an icky subject–one that feels too complicated, too stuck, too hopeless to make any progress on.
There is SO much hope here, though, friends! As with everything, little by little progress is the name of the game–sometimes with a few big leaps along the way. I've compiled our best action ideas for finance goals below, and I hope it encourages you to dig in where you are!
- Do a comprehensive review of your finances and set a goal to work toward
- Sign up for Financial Peace University or a similar personal finance course (PS users suggested Wallet Win!)
- Read a personal finance book (try Total Money Makeover, The Financial Diet, Love Your Life Not Theirs, or The Millionaire Next Door - or tell us your favorite in the comments!)
- Make a budget (see our tips here)
- Choose a way to track your budget (more ideas here - consider an app like YNAB, Mint, Good Budget, or Every Dollar Counts)
- Set up an initial review meeting with a financial planner (either in person or an online option like Learnvest)
- Set up a retirement account (either a 401k if offered through your work or an IRA)
- Total all of your debt, especially if you have multiple sources (this will give you a goal to work toward!)
- Choose a financial mantra to keep you motivated and post it somewhere you'll see it every day (we suggest your refrigerator)
- Similarly, choose a picture that represents your biggest financial goal and post it somewhere you'll see it every day
- Increase your retirement contribution
- Comb through your expenses from the last month and look for areas where you can cut back
- Create a visual countdown of your debt and post it prominently where the whole family can see it (more paying down debt tips here)
- Open a charitable giving account (donor-advised fund) to streamline and maximize your generosity
- Open an account designated as an emergency fund and seed it with an initial deposit
- Make a plan to fully fund an emergency fund (most experts recommend three to six months of expenses)
- Purge your social media accounts: unfollow accounts that contribute to feelings of lack or make you want to spend money!
- Take our friend Nancy's Contentment Challenge
- Listen to an episode of a personal finance podcast (Cultivate readers suggested Entreeleadership and Matrimoney!)
- Sit down with your significant other (or yourself!) and review the week's budget and spending
- Purge a room of your house (this helps identify waste, cultivate contentment, and curb spending)
- Update your budget
- Pay bills
- Unsubscribe from sales emails
- Sell something (and put the money toward debt or a savings goal)
- No spending
- Express gratitude
These are just a few suggestions for items to add to your PowerSheets Tending List each month to make progress on your finance goals for the year!
We'd love to hear from you: what else would you add to this list?