I think we can all agree that money is an important part of everyone’s life. Staying on top of your finances is important no matter your current financial situation, and there’s usually always room for improvement. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have the time to sit down and work on getting your finances in order. Carving out a chunk of time in your busy schedule to get organized may seem next to impossible. There are several quick and simple things that you can do to improve your finances and start the process of getting serious about your money. And they can all be done in 10 minutes or less.
Check your checking account balance. Make sure that you have enough money in your account to cover any spending that you’ll need to do. Formal reconciliations seem to be a thing of the past, but do a quick scan of your transactions to make sure everything is accounted for and to make sure that the transactions on your account are actually transactions that you made.
Think about ways to cut expenses. Do you spend a lot of money on entertainment and eating out? Think about ways to cut back. Is a lot of your money going towards payments for cable, internet, phone, etc? Call your service providers(s) and ask about offers, deals, or discounts.
Start tracking your expenses. The easiest way to figure out where your money is going is by tracking your expenses. You can do this with pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or download an expense tracking app that’ll do the dirty work for you.
Update your budget. If you don’t have a budget or some kind of budgeting method or technique in place, use your 10 minutes to create a written budget or research other methods (like the “anti-budget”) that may well work for you.
Cancel any unused subscriptions. No need in continuing to pay for something that you aren’t using!
Plan a no spend day. Challenge yourself to not spend any money for 24 hours. Pick a day of the week, make a list of the things that need to happen for you to be able to not spend any money (e.g. meal prep), and commit yourself to the challenge!
Write out some short and long-term financial goals. Make your goals specific and measurable. For motivation, think of and write down a small reward for yourself if you stick with the plan and achieve your goals.
Write out some actionable steps for the week/month that you can do to work towards your goals. Plan out some actions, take it step-by-step, that you can start doing consistently to help you achieve those goals.
Clean out and organize your wallet or purse. Get rid of old receipts, scraps of paper, or any other unnecessary clutter.
Read a financial article or blog post. Research a financial matter that you’re curious and want to learn more about. There are tons of posts out there that can help you get your money in order.
Set up autopay for a fixed expense. If you’re paying the same amount of money for something each month, why not automate that payment? Save yourself some time each month by taking a few minutes to set up automatic payments.
These tasks are fairly simple and require just a few minutes of effort, but they can make a huge impact on your financial situation. Of course, this is only a start, but building new habits is an important part of the process and a great place to begin. Give yourself about 10 minutes per day consistently to work through these tasks. After completing this list, start using your 10 minutes on more complex things to really take your finances to the next level.