Wow, we have made it to week #14! That means that we are over 1/4th of the way through the challenges. Although the first several weeks were laying ground work and foundations, we are really diving into the heart of changes and habits that will make for financial fitness in your family.
We hope that they have been easy enough to keep up, but effective enough to see some major impact on your budget and finances already! It’s so exciting what can happen when you just apply the steps and principles we are sharing.
For those of you just now seeing this, it is honestly going to be best to start at the beginning of our 52-Week Take Back Your Finances Challenge as the weekly tasks are meant to build on top of each other for the best success. We have set it up so that you can join the challenge at any time and we will send you the weekly tasks to your email so that you have flexibility in starting on your schedule!
For those that are at week #14, let’s get to it!
One thing that was key for us, especially at the beginning, was a quick nightly check-in to hold ourselves accountable and to evaluate every penny spent that day. This does not have to be a big deal or a big task; in fact, it is super fast and easy. But the value of doing this is worth every minute. You will find that perhaps your spending habits are a little more than you thought. Perhaps you will realize frivolous spending or you may even realize that you are making purchases that may not be necessary. When it comes to a nightly check-in, it also helps you prepare for the next day – even the next week.
Maybe you ended up eating lunch out because you weren’t prepared when you intended to take a lunch. Perhaps you stopped one extra place during errands (like the Dollar Store – this innocent place claims a lot of budgeting victims. :)) and ended up spending more because you were there and found things that you thought you needed.
Not only is this a way for you to be accountable to yourself and your budget, but when the husband and wife do this, they become accountable to each other for their spending habits. Having someone to be accountable to helps in many areas to help keep you on track and motivated. The area of finances is no different!
Finally, if you have children – checking in is a GREAT example and tool for them to understand money, spending, budgeting and intentional living. They will respect you more for having a healthy spending plan as they witness your financial intentionality. Over time, they will start to gain a healthy understanding of money, the need to have a spending plan, sticking to the plan and more. This helps with the “I wants” at the stores, or the desire for stuff as they understand what things are important and what things can be saved up for and more!
What exactly is the task this week?
Now that we have given you a brief summary of a nightly check-in, your challenge this week is to have a 5-minute financial check-up each night this next week. After this week, we will recommend you making this a regular part of your week. We are not necessarily recommending you do it every night but at least as often as you think your family needs it. That could be nightly if you’re in the intense part of paying off debt or less frequently once you get into a maintenance plan with your finances.
Our family has a once a week check-in today, but we did a nightly check-in when we were in the heart of paying off our $100k consumer debt for several months. This helped immensely. Especially when we first started because we had no wiggle room whatsoever and had to be so precise with our spending. Remember that we were probably only a week away from bankruptcy when we started!
This is a simple task this week, but it is important! Just do it and you might see both real change and attitude change as you move forward!
Need to catch up? Come join us on this challenge from the very beginning by clicking on the 52-Week Take Back Your Finances Challenge and sign up to start receiving your automated challenge from the very beginning!
One final thing…we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!
Disclaimer: We are not licenses financial planners. We are only a couple that have been just a hair-breadth away from bankruptcy and found our way out of debt with a goal to now help others. Please make sure to consider any advice given on our site and in this challenge as tips we have used ourselves; they may not work for everyone. If you have questions please make sure to contact a licensed professional.