Today’s question comes from Jennifer. She asks,
I enrolled in Quickbooks… I’ve overspent and I’m ashamed. Please be my intervention! How do you keep track of your money every month without being constantly tied to your bank account?
Great question Jennifer!
Back when I worked in finance my husband and I (we were just co-workers back then!) would get coffee once a month and review our goals and “numbers” for the month. It was a fun way to hold each other accountable to our goals and to continually review our progress. Monthly reviewing is still something I do monthly along with my business and personal financial tracking.
The cool thing is, I get all this done in JUST ONE DAY! I’ve heard people refer to this as your “duty day” or “monthly review day” … but I like to call it a “money date”! I take my laptop outside or to a coffee shop, get a treat and dive in! It makes something that can feel tedious and mundane, fun!
Each year in November I take a week “out of my business to work on my business”, it’s my annual planning month! One of the things I do is schedule my money dates for the upcoming year.
For 2018 my money dates are the first Tuesday of every month! I recommend always doing this the first week. I have some clients that break this up into two half days if they have bi-monthly bills or payroll that is easier to do twice a month instead of once. And of course, sometimes I’m away on the first Tuesday speaking at an event or it’s a Holiday … but I never SKIP IT! I just move it to another day that week.
Here are four things I do on every money date + a free checklist you can download to keep track of yours!
Record all income and spending in my bookkeeping software. I still DIY my bookkeeping because it helps me know exactly what is happening in my business. But this is something you can DIY or outsource.
I look at cash flow for the upcoming months : what checks do I expect to come in, what expenses do I expect to go out. Do I have enough to pay all the bills?!
Send invoices & payment reminders for any money due that month.
Write checks or schedule payments for any expenses due that month.