The 7 Best Money Choices You’re Probably Not Making…But Should

blogimage_drumming_rhythmWhat? Wait a minute, Jacquette.  You just recommended that I create a routine to make my system strategic, now you are telling me “don’t simply follow a routine.”

This is what I imagine you are saying to yourself (silently or aloud) as you read the title for Choice #3.   And yep, that is exactly what I’m saying.  Here’s why:  whereas routines are all about what you do, rhythm is about how you do it.  Rhythm is what tailors the details of the routine to fit your style and match your preferences…it is how you make the routine your “own.”

If you don’t personalize your routine, it can become taxing, boring…mundane.  When this happens, you run the risk of feeling stagnant, heavy and uninterested – you run the risk of not doing what you know is ultimately in your best interest.

Rhythm, on the other hand, is all about flow; it is working your system or routine in a way that feels natural to and for you.  Let me share an example that will help to drive home my point: An upcoming tip is to track your money.  Here’s what that looks like for me:

  • Daily –

    • I collect receipts for all of my cash and credit card transactions – my wallet is the repository (and yes it can become quite “messy” at times!)

    • I separate bills (personal/business) from all the other mail as it arrives

  • Weekly (typically on Sundays while watching 60 Minutes) –

    • I pay the bills that are due in the upcoming week, using online banking

    • I update Quicken Deluxe (I use this version because it is easy for me to keep a record of both my personal and business finances in one software package) by manually entering the details of the receipts I’ve collected throughout the week and the bills I paid

    • I update Quicken and an Excel spreadsheet to reflect any client payments received and to track my financial giving or tithing

    • I shred all ATM receipts/credit card receipts

  • Monthly –

    • I update the investment section of Quicken by downloading transactions from my brokerage account and INGDirect online savings

    • I shred credit card statements (unless I need to retain it as proof of purchase) and file banking statements

If my travel schedule throws off my “weekly” activities, I simply carry it over to the next available Sunday.  This is what works for me, but it might not work for someone else and that’s the point of rhythm – it’s about putting your personal signature on a routine.

As you examine what you do with your money and how, are you finding it easy to isolate what your system (or routine) is; does it reflect your natural rhythm or do you find yourself frustrated because you are trying to make what works effortlessly for someone else work for you?

A system (or routine) needs to be strategic to be effective, and it absolutely must be designed to work for you!

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