An incredibly powerful process you can follow to accelerate your financial prosperity is to establish a weekly money management session. This is a session that you schedule with yourself for the same time every week. This session is designed to take no more than thirty minutes each week. It allows you to focus your efforts on building your prosperity, without requiring a substantial commitment of time. Make an appointment with yourself in your calendar and make it important enough that you don’t let other things interfere.
During the week, you will receive or accumulate bills in the mail, receipts for purchases you’ve made over the week, paycheck stubs, bank statements, and other financial documents. Set aside a place in your work area that is dedicated as an inbox for collecting all of those documents–and nothing else. Don’t open them or attempt to deal with these financial documents at any time other than your weekly money management session with one exception–if you need to make phone calls about that document. Otherwise, just make sure that any money-related document gets collected in your money management inbox.
Then, when you sit down for your money management session, you will follow these specific steps.
1. Transfer Money from Savings to Checking.
This step applies only during the last week of a month. If you have set up a monthly spending plan or budget, you know how much money will be required to meet your expenses for the upcoming month. And, if you have been having all your income deposited in your savings account, you will now need to transfer to your checking account only that amount that is required for next month’s expenses.
2. Record Unrecorded Transactions.
Record any transactions that haven’t been recorded in your money management software. These transactions may originate from your check register, from receipts, from check stubs, or by being downloaded from your bank or financial institution.
3. Open and Process any Bills.
In your money management software, check your reminders or scheduled bills. If any bill you have just received should have a reminder and does not, then create one. Pay each bill and record the payment in your money management software.
4. Record Your Debt Elimination.
If you have been following debt elimination principles of allocating twenty percent of your income for debt repayment, you will likely have employed a Fold-Down Debt Elimination Worksheet that organizes your debt repayment schedule. Record your debt elimination payments for the last week in your Fold-Down Debt Elimination Worksheet.
5. Record Your Monthly Investments.
If you have been following the principle of paying yourself first by investing ten percent of your income, you will likely have set up automatic investments to be made on a monthly basis. Record any automated investment payments or other investments that you have made during the week.
6. Review Your Spending Actuals.
Print out a budget vs. actuals report from your financial management software. Check to see how you are doing for the current month in comparison with what you planned to spend. If something is out of line with the plan, then either adjust your spending or adjust your spending plan and cash flow projection.
7. Update Your Cash Flow Projection vs. Actuals.
If this is the first week of the month, update your cash flow projection vs. actuals for the month that just passed. In this step, you compare the amount that you planned to spend, in your spending plan or budget, with the amount that you actually spent. Write the actual amounts and subtract them from the planned amounts, then calculate how your cash balance has increased or decreased as a result of following your plan.
And that is the process. This entire process should take no more than 30 minutes per week. At the end of your money management session, you know exactly where you are financially and have feedback on any potential financial problems soon enough to take timely action.