I don't know how you all keep track of your assets and liabilities , but I have found it extremely useful to have a financial plan that shows what is planned and what actually happened . At the end of the month , I update the actuals in all my major accounts for both the asset and liability (credit card) side .
WRITING IT DOWN IS THE MOST USEFUL THING YOU CAN DO .
On a regular basis during the month , I am making adjustments to the plan - how of the next paycheck I am going to put in reserves , emergency , credit card paydown , reserves for future expenses like utilities , landscaping , car insurance payment , car payment , etc , IRA contributions , 529 contributions, etc. Yes, my financial life is a little complicated .
But I found that working the plan , and not even letting $50 go to waste is very valuable . It takes a bit of work to get to the point where your plan mirrors reality , but it can work .
HARVARD IS ALWAYS QUOTED THAT THOSE THAT HAVE A WRITTEN PLAN ACHIEVE MULTIPLES OF WHAT PEOPLE THAT DON'T HAVE A PLAN .
So, that is the financial plan by months .
Then , I work on the spending plan for the next payperiod - which ties in with the monthly financial plan -- where I plan out each week what I plan to spend on the same accounts , and then what actually happened . If I setup a transfer with Schwab, for example , to transfer $200 the day after payday to transfer in my brokerage account , I place that number in the actual column with an underline - to tell me its scheduled . The spending plan tracks what % of my income is spent on each item . In the end , I know how much I am saving (investment , saving and cc debt) and right now I am actually saving about 35-40 % of my income .
If there are other finanical planning systems that you all have , I would love to hear what you do . This is a peek in my financial planning life . Hope that doesn't sound nuts !