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A few weeks ago, a buddy and I were joking around about taking "mental health days" at his workplace. He was telling me about how he will regularly take these days off from work when he's stressed or overly tired in order to recharge his physical batteries.
I had the thought that it would be great if people would take a regular financial health day one or two times a year, in order to take care of those annoying financial details in life that seem to pile up that we never make the time to follow through on. Over time, we also encounter financial creep in our spending plans that needs a good trimming on a regular basis.
Before you take your day to work on your finances, be sure to establish a couple of major goals that you would like to accomplish on your financial health day.
The goals I was trying to accomplish on my Financial Health Day were:
- Saving Money
- Organization and Peace of Mind
Having a couple of important goals will motivate you to accomplish all of your financial tasks.
Determine What You Need to Accomplish
This is essentially building a "task list" of all the activities you need to get through in order to have a successful Financial Health Day. Perhaps you need to:
- Meet with an attorney to draft a will, living trust, etc.
- Close some bank accounts; open new accounts.
- Make financial-related phone calls.
- Apply for life insurance.
- Purchase a fireproof safe.
- Open a safe deposit box.
- Balance your check book.
- Work on your cash flow plan.
- Cancel some services you no longer use.
- Apply for a Roth IRA.
My Financial Health Day
During my recent financial health day, I was mainly focused on the following tasks:
- Ending auto-drafts on two services that I no longer use.
- Moving auto-drafts for insurance policies from one bank account to another. This involved a number of phone calls, faxes, and emails so this activity took the majority of my day.
- Preparing to close out two bank accounts that are costing me money over the long term.
- Changing cell phone plan to save me some cash.
- Setting up auto-drafts from my new checking account to online savings account in order to automate monthly savings.
- Sorting out old receipts to my files and shredding those I no longer needed.
In a work period of about 6 hours, I was able to accomplish these tasks and save approximately $600/year in financial creep that had built up in my cash flow plan.
Mission Accomplished! I'm planning on taking an additional day in the very near future to save even more money and fine-tune my financial plan.
Have you ever taken a financial health day and what were your results?
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