When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Accounts?
According to a Harris poll conducted by the AICPA in March, 2012, the average adult checks their social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter an average of six times per day. The same survey revealed that less than two in ten people who check in with social media at least daily also check their bank accounts regularly. Sound familiar? When was the last time you checked the transactions in your checking and credit card accounts?
Keeping in touch with what’s happening in your financial world is key to being in control of your life.
First, the things we pay attention to manifest in our lives. Ever notice that when you buy a new car that suddenly it seems like every other driver on the road has the same one? My friends who are trying to get pregnant tell me that it seems like every woman they pass on the street is sporting a baby bump.
Last time I checked, there wasn’t a sudden surge in expectant mothers. It’s because that’s what my friends are paying attention to. Same goes with your money. If you turn a blind eye to what’s happening in your checking account, that behavior manifests itself in a lack of control in other areas of your life.
Additionally, if you’re not taking the time to go through the transactions in your checking or credit card accounts, how do you know that there isn’t fraudulent activity on your account? How do you avoid overdraft fees?
Let’s get real here – I know why you’re not looking. Because you know you’re not making the healthiest choices for yourself. Looking at where your money is going will cause you to confront your shoe habit or acknowledge your addiction to Target. I get it because I’ve done it. Just like starting a healthy eating program starts with writing down everything you put in your mouth, healthy finances start with paying attention to where your money is going.
Please do yourself a favor and make a little appointment with yourself to review your spending at least monthly. (you can have wine while you’re doing this) You don’t have to do anything other than simply scroll through the transactions and verify that the amounts and merchants are correct. It’s kind of like scrolling through your Facebook News Feed, except without all the baby pictures and “Ugh, so tired…” posts.
If you want to take it up a notch, start keeping a record of your balances on a monthly basis. Just write them all down and keep a tally on a monthly basis. The next level would be to draft a Net Worth statement for yourself, but I’ll talk more about that in a later post.
The bottom line is that if you have any sort of discontent in your money life, it’s probably carrying over into other areas of your life like your career and your personal relationships. The first step in righting that discontent is to simply start paying attention to your money. Log in now!