Finances & Money

Is Managing Your Finances A Priority?

CleverDude_Priority

I used to see a coworker of mine at the gym all the time. Then, suddenly I stopped running into him. I asked him one day if he was still a member, to which he replied, “Yeah, I just don’t have time right now to workout.” It reminded me of a quote I read somewhere recently saying something to the effect of when adults say they don’t have time to do something, what they really mean is the activity is not a priority. My coworker thought about it for a second before smiling, and agreeing. He admitted the activities taking up his time were currently more important to him than working out.

As soon as I walked away from the conversation, I reminded myself that I had been having trouble finding time to really devote to my finances. In fact, my financial system had broken down in many different ways:

  • Spending Tracking spreadsheet not kept up to date
  • Haven’t been withdrawing entertainment funds in cash
  • Sporadic budget meetings with my wife
  • No recent evaluation of monthly expenses for value
  • No recent evaluation of investment performance

These five activities form the backbone of my finance management system that keeps our budget whole, our spending in check, and ensures we get the most for our hard earned cash. When I’m surprised at how little money is in our checking account, it’s obvious our finances are not running at optimum efficiency.

I’ve been telling myself that I’m just really busy right now, and don’t have the time to do all the detailed financial activities I normally do. Upon further thought, I was able to come up with a list of activities I always seem to find time for each day:

  • Social media
  • Watching TV
  • Mindless web surfing
  • Work from home
  • Checking email

While a person is certainly allowed to have some relaxation time as well as some time to do whatever they’d please, these five activities likely add up to several hours each day. I could easily carve out a half hour a couple of times a week to keep my finances on track.

I’m simply not making my finances a priority. That needs to change. I frequently tell my son to do the things he HAS to do, before he does the things he WANTS to do. It’s time to take my own advice.

How about you Clever Friends, do you use lack of time as an excuse for not completing a task when in reality you’re just not making it a priority?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

Disease Called Debt

About the author

Brock Kernin

14 Comments

  • Yeah, definitely! Just like this week, I really needed to search for a VA and I didn’t go through and look at applications until last night. It was something I needed to do, but hadn’t made it a priority. And then to top it off, instead of selecting the most qualified person, I gave all 4 of them a task and whoever doesn’t complete it doesn’t get hired. Just laziness on my part, but at least it will weed it down for me and let me know who really wants the gig.

    • There’s infinite ways to spend our time, Jamie……it’s ok to do things we like as a distraction or as entertainment, but not at the sacrifice of things that NEED to get done!

  • Yep. We find the same thing happening. It is so easy to make time for stuff that doesn’t require much effort. It is a normal thing to get off track. It just happens sometimes. We found ourselves off track recently too and we had a meeting to get back on track and reestablish our goals. I like the fact that identified what needed changing and you identify what works. Great post.

  • Mostly I’m honest with myself that I’m procrastinating or avoiding something because I simply don’t want to do it. Once I admit that out loud, though, it sounds so childish that I have to get it done and that’s one problem solved!

    Thankfully, money management is one of those things I do for fun and relaxation so it’s no chore to avoid. In the last two days I’ve done some rental property maintenance, paid bills, and recorded dividend earnings. It’s satisfying for a money nerd 🙂

  • I think I’m pretty well aware that I do what I want to do. There are tons of things I’d like to find time for, but there are only so many hours in the day. You’ve really got to stay committed to a small number of things if you want to improve on them.

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