Goal: Review Your Cash Flow and Personal Balance Sheet. This lets you see how you did last year and if you want to make any changes for the new year.
How should I keep track of my finances?
You should keep track of your finances by monitoring your financial dashboard which includes reviewing your cash flow (budget) and your net worth. This allows you to understand where you are financially. You have to know where you are, so that you can know where you are going.
Understanding your cash flow is an important aspect of organizing your financial life and getting ready for the future. It’s important to know how much money is coming in (income) and how much you are spending (expenses). Documenting your income and expenses will also allow your spouse/domestic partner and/or your heirs to easily see how your money is flowing.
A key to positive cash flow is to be mindful of expenses. This includes being a fully informed buyer, and extends to the even more important task of monitoring existing expenses to search for the most favorable pricing. This is at the core of the GET READY! philosophy. Be informed, ask questions and trim expenses.
Knowing your net worth will help you determine whether you are financially solvent and on track for a healthy financial life and retirement. If you are not, you can make adjustments to your cash flow now, so that you can get on track. Your net worth is the total value of everything that you own (assets) less what you owe (liabilities).
Pick up a copy of Get Ready: A Step-By-Step Planner for Maintaining Your Financial First Aid kit to guide you through organizing your financial documents and creating your cash flow statement and net worth statement. Pick up a copy on Amazon (here), purchase a digital copy (here) or learn more (here).
Access the Get Ready Toolkit and download the Cash Flow (budget) and Net Worth worksheets (here).
The Get Ready Toolkit also includes a subscription to the Get Ready Newsletter which follows the Get Ready Financial Calendar to help you stay financially prepared.