Managing finances can be overwhelming. There are monthly bills, credit card receipts, account statements, essential paperwork and automated payments. It’s not easy managing the information and tracking of all the details of how we use our funds. When we are most organized, we have a good system and routines to review our finances. These weekly, monthly and ongoing routines give you guideposts for your finances, adding up to fifteen important finance routines to help you stay organized and track where your money goes.
- Go through your mail weekly and shred credit card offers and other papers that have account numbers.
- Read email and text alerts from your bank and credit card company. Act on these immediately with a call directly to the company, not responding to the alert directly in case of further fraud.
- Set up payment systems that work for you. Automated bill pay is an option for your ongoing payments. If you pay by check, set a time each week or every other week to pay bills. Consistently reviewing and paying bills keeps you aware and in control of your spending and bill payments.
- Review your bank and credit card statements online or on paper. Check all purchases, especially looking for fraud charges big or small the fraud.
- Use a list to review automated payments. Record the day of the month, the transaction company, how it is payed and the amount.
- Organize your financial papers by big categories and drop in paper each month. Categories include Banks and Credit Unions, Credit Cards, Investment and Retirement and Utilities and Bills. That’s correct – you only need one very large file for utilities and bills. Big categories make it easier to file.
- Set saving goals and monitor your monthly progress. Automate your savings as income comes in so it is easier to reach your goals. Monitor this progress with a monthly meeting to review your monthly spending on your own or with your partner. See where multiple small purchases or large purchases are derailing your savings goals.
- Set up reminders to pay big quarterly payments such as property taxes, estimated taxes and Home Owner Association bills.
- Set up online access to all your accounts.
- Consolidate when possible. Keep accounts to two banks or credit unions at most. Consolidate credit to credit cards to two cards from different companies and keep only two investment and retirement accounts.
- Keep up with your passwords securely. Change your passwords regularly. Keep a log of your passwords.
- Make a copy of all contents of your wallet and other cards. Carry only the credit and bank cards you need to use routinely. Keep the remainder, such as debit cards, at home in your safe.
- Keep a list of all financial accounts. List the name of the location (bank), account name (checking), account number and password.
- Keep a list of closed accounts, paid off accounts for any type of loan, mortgage or credit card. If something goes wonky, you have the account to check.
- In case of emergency, keep a solid amount of cash in your home safe. During a local emergency, you can only get $300 from an ATM.
Managing financial routines
Because consistency and routines are the hardest work for those with ADHD, set up reminders and work with a partner. These routines are not difficult once you start with a checklist of routines. There’s technology that can help like your bank and credit card apps, Credit Karma, Mint.com, and YNAB (You Need A Budget) to help you stay on track with your financial routines. You will find that these financial routines save you extra time spent when things don’t work as they should.