I used to check my bank balance every, single day. In fact, I sometimes looked multiple times. If anything changed, I made sure it was in my checkbook too. Now I only break it out once or twice a month to make sure everything is running smoothly and to update my registry. When did I get comfortable enough to start putting that off?
My Income Increased – My Checkbook Priority Decreased
A quick glance at my registry actually answered that question for me. I stopped checking on my money every second of every day when my online advertising business started taking off in May 2011. I was too busy to check anything multiple times a day (except my email, lol) and we were bringing in way more money than usual. I knew we were safe. In short, I subconsciously got too “rich” (comparably) to care much about the details.
That hasn’t bitten me in the butt so far, but it is a dangerous path to walk in my opinion. I never want to be so focused on how to make quick money that I let our savings fall to the wayside. Our checking account isn’t much since I only keep $1000 of padding in it, but it is something I should check for errors regularly. I recently got an open checking account bonus which added a little more. All these things start to add up. That is one reason I post a budget update once every month or two here. That forces me to balance my check book, type in all of our expenses, and take a good look at where our money is going. So thank you all for keeping my priorities in check. Budget apps have proved very valuable with this sort of thing. I will be continuing my budget updates for sure.
Self Employed Reality Checks
I also need to reevaluate our savings goals now that I am self employed. I pretty much am on auto-pilot in regards to where our money goes, which is great. But I still need to stop, take a step back when something major changes, and see if we are still on track for our ultimate goal of being able to retire at age 52. That means I need to make sure I am directly the excess cash from checking into the accounts or investments that will be paying for our future. Right now, we seem to be on track with 2 Roth IRA’s and our Scottrade investments, but I will now mark my calendar to remind myself to check on our overall financial health every 3 months. I don’t want self employment to be our downfall.
How do you keep yourself on track financially? How often do you balance your checkbook?