Decide you want to be organized
Making the commitment to being organized is one of the most important parts of the process. Once that decision is made (make it a “must” not a “should”), you have taken the hardest step!
Gather as much important information as possible to understand your situation
There are many great tools you can use like Mint.com, myFinance Tracker or other equivalents that do everything from creating personal balance sheets, to letting you know when your bills are due, to creating a budget for you to follow.
Have goals that are important to you and your family
Having goals can often be essential to getting your financial life in order. Once you have a clear and empowering idea of what your funds can do for your life, it will be easier to take the necessary steps to move forward. Make sure your goals are “SMART”- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Have a Financial plan
Having a financial plan is one of the most important things you can do for yourself financially. It will show you the fastest and most efficient path between where you are and where you would like to be. Often people find it hard to motivate themselves unless they can understand how everything fits together.
Get leverage on yourself
I’m a big fan of this. We all find reasons to procrastinate…especially for things that don’t come naturally. So make a deal with your spouse or a friend to be accountable to them. This is one of the most powerful things you can do to reach any goal!
Revisit and reset
In order to ensure that your goals are achieved, you’ll need to keep them in front of you on a regular basis. With that in mind, make regular appointments (at least 2 – 4 times a year) with yourself to revisit and evaluate the important financial targets in your life. Once they are achieved, it’s always a good idea to set new goals after the old ones are achieved.
If all else fails...outsource
For some people staying on top of their finances is either too big a job or something they don’t enjoy. If that’s you, look for a great financial advisor that can help you do this. It’s too important not to get this right.