How often do you to check your finances? Some of the more diligent among us may do a mini-financial review every week or every month. The more avoidant among us may only check when certain occasions arise, such as tax season or the holiday season. If you never take stock of your financial outlook, we want to make the case for a quarterly review. It isn’t so often for those who tend to hyperventilate at the thought of anything related to money and it isn’t so infrequent that it does little to help if you need to make changes.
This means that rather than waiting for something to prompt you to look at your bank accounts, investments, insurance policies, and bills, in light of your financial goals, you look at these things yourself to determine what changes need to be made, if any. When you are dealing with the stresses of everyday life and paying bills, there will be things you may not notice. A lot of us work on autopilot and may not notice money going towards things like subscriptions we don’t use. While you are dealing with the day-to-day, you might not think about finding a lower insurance premium but this is something you can consider when you take a moment to check your finances each quarter.
And since a quarter is three months, you can decide just how to define your quarters; you could start at the beginning of the year and check in with yourself in January, April, July, and October. Or you could wait until the end of a quarter and do financial reviews in March, June, September, and December.
It is up to you to take charge of your own financial planning and find a system that works for you. Too many of us realize too late that we’ve been paying banking fees and insurance premiums we didn’t need and making adjustments sooner would have helped us free up more money to save, invest, or pay down debt. A Fee-Only financial planner can help with your overall financial goals but you still need to keep tabs on yourself.