Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Makeunder My Finances: Step 4

Welcome to the final installment of the refreshed "Makeunder My Finances" series, as inspired by Jess Lively's makeunder steps. Missed the first three steps? You can find one, two, and three here.

Step 4: Reflect and evolve

This should be the "easiest" step of a financial makeunder. The real work goes into creating a vision, exfoliating stuff, and identifying intentions. Once your budget, savings plan, and automatic deposits are in place, it's a matter of evaluating your progress. Are you being too strict in some areas or too lax in others? Does your budget need a little tweaking? Can you sock away some extra money to meet your goal early?

How often should you be evaluating? Part of that depends on your timeframe and if you've made dramatic changes. I would also take a closer look at things in the beginning to set a good foundation. Remember, you're setting yourself up for success. Don't set unrealistic expectations. In general, a weekly update and monthly review should suffice.

It's also a good idea to check in on your vision and intentions. As you grow and mature, you might realize that your vision and intentions have also evolved. As Jess says, "The more regularly you reflect on the vision the less you will need to create major changes going forward." For example, when I married John, I felt a shift in priorities. Our finances also merged, so my decisions didn't just affect me anymore. And as you achieve one financial goal, you'll have the confidence to save for something else.

In a way, this refresh of the series is like one giant exercise in reflecting and evolving. Where we were three years ago is almost a world away from where we are now. Our financial situation and responsibilities have changed, so it only makes sense to reevaluate our goals and approach to savings and spending. 

Good luck with your own financial makeunders. Small changes here and there can really add up. Send me an email at if you have any questions.

Have a great week!
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