Stuck at home just a little longer than you thought you might be? Here’s exercises I ask my coaching clients to do as homework. If you’ve got a little extra time, pick one of these, sit down with it – and cross it off your list.
Set up a net wealth tracker
Use a spreadsheet or an app (I like Personal Capital, and we’ll both get $20 if you sign up and use it) to list out all your accounts: savings, retirement, credit cards, student loans, literally EVERYTHING.
Your goal is to get a snapshot of your money outside of the day to day cash flow, to see what’s happening on a bigger level and to help you decide if you want to make any changes (pay some extra on a card?) or if you can afford that trip to Barcelona (in your mind, for now).
- Time: 20-60 minutes
- Value: getting a one-stop, birds eye view of your finances can help you feel less overwhelmed and unsure, and support you in making informed decisions.
Combine old Retirement Accounts
And, while you’re at it listing out accounts, you might remember you have a few old retirement accounts kicking around. Now is the time to do a *direct rollover*, which will let you combine those old retirement accounts into one account.
A *direct rollover* is where the place that manages the existing account sends a check directly to the place that will manage the new account – go with a direct rollover, unless you’d like to do extra steps and manage tax paperwork and possibly get a tax bill if you don’t do it all in time. You “roll” the old accounts into an account you can manage: either your current works’ retirement plan if you have one, or a new Traditional IRA you open up.
- Time: 30-120 minutes
- Value: putting your nest egg together can help you accelerate growth and save on fees, so this can be a REALLY financially worthwhile task!
Go through your credit cards and look for recurring charges to cancel
If you’ve forgotten about it, you can probably cancel it. If you don’t remember why you signed up for it, you might not need it!
- Time: 15-30 minutes
- Value: hey, saving $10/mo from killing an old subscription can save you over $100 in a year
Set up your beneficiaries on bank accounts.
Yawnfest but a Payable on Death (POD) designation saves time and gets money to people you want.
- Time: 10-20 minutes
- Value: when you croak, the people who you want to use your money
Divest from a sucky bank into one that sucks not.
Divest from your big bank into one that does good! Right now Aspiration will give you (and me!) $50 for opening an account AND they stay out of fossil fuels AND donate 10% of profits and make a donation when you sign up. I decided to open an acct to hack my donations — I intend to give away a certain amount of money every month and to help me think about it less I’m automatically putting it in here. Now I know I can clear out this account to causes that need it – and when you open an account with my link, it will go directly to my donation fund! Also they have this optional app to score on how your spending *really* lines up with your values… if you dare find out.
- Time: 10-30 minutes + time to set up connections to the account if you want to use it to intake deposits, connect to Venmo or PayPal, or pay bills with.
- Value: I mean, making $50 in 10 minutes isn’t bad BUT the real reason to do this is to finally stop f&*king with banks that don’t give a f&*k about you or our planet!!
Run your own business? Get ahead on your accounting
Gather physical and digital receipts into one place, set up an accounting software and sync your bank or import your spending history. It’s not fun AND it’s never fun, so get ahead on it while you have the time.
- Time: 30-120 minutes
- Value: spending time up front to save time later is abstract, but getting insight into your business is always priceless!