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These days, productivity is all the rage.  We want the best results from the least amount of time and work.  We want to create change most efficiently and I am all about it!

I know we're all busy pursuing our dreams and spending time on fun and meaningful experiences.  So, here are three actions that will only take five minutes each, but will improve your financial wellness exponentially.  Fifteen minutes for unlimited financial results?  Not too shabby!

1) Keep a Money Journal

Maintaining a money journal is something I do myself and recommend to all of my clients.  Writing down what we spend not only makes us incredibly conscious about where our money is going, it helps us build an accurate budget.

I hear over and over again, 'I don’t spend extravagantly but my credit card bill is really high.  Where is all of my money going?'  A spending journal is the answer!  You can keep it in your phone, a notebook or wherever works best for you.

Whatever method you choose, make sure you can journal throught out the day and take note of how you felt before and after you made the purchase, what the purchase was and how much it cost.  You can tally your spending and get an idea of what it looks like over the course of a day, week and even month.

It’s powerful to know where you stand financially and become conscious about where your hard-earned money is going.

2) Know What You Value

From writing in the money journal you'll see where your money is going week by week.  The next step is to make sure you're using your money for things that are meaningful and important to you.  We all have a set amount of money to spend or save and financial bliss is using that money in the ways that make us the happiest.

Are you getting value from the daily snack you buy from the bodega?  Could you spend that money in ways that would be more valuable or meaningful for you?  This is where we consider the opportunity cost of our spending habits.  When we use our money in one place, we can’t use it in another.  It’s very powerful and fun to start maximizing each dollar we spend so that we're using it in ways that are most meaningful to us.

Take five minutes and determine what your core values are for money management.  Make sure your spending is in line with those values.  For example, if you value spending time with your family, could you be saving to visit them?  If you value travel, would you rather be saving for an incredible two week vacation instead of buying lunch at work each day?  Maximize your spending according to your values!

3) Set Up an Automatic Transfer to Your Savings

At this point, you know what you're spending and you’ve decided what you value - now it’s time to save for your most coveted goals.  If you value travel and have decided to bring lunch to work to save $5 a day, that’s $1,300 of savings a year that can go toward your dream vacation.

Instead of leaving your savings goals up to chance, transfer $5 a day, $25 a week or $100 a month automatically from your checking account to your savings account for your travel fund.  You will start to see the funding for your biggest goals and dreams come to fruition right before your eyes!

 

Ashley Feinstein is a certified money coach and founder of Knowing Your Worth where she empowers her clients to live at the source of financial freedom by helping to create budgets that maximize happiness, reach financial goals, pay down student loans and other debt, and increase credit scores.  Find out more on her blog and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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More Money Tips

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