Use the tools below in coordination with the the six step outlined in Take Control of Your Money. It will also give further instructions on how to use each tool.
1. Current Assessment
Gather all of your financial documents relating to debt – mortgage statements, credit card, student loan, personal loans, etc and compile them in the “Current State” spreadsheet (below).
Make sure to gather as much information as possible, including total amount owed, interest rates, etc.
2. Spending Tracker
Where is your money going? To figure this out, you need to start tracking every expense. Use the spending tracker to assist you in this task.
To get a baseline of how much you are spending, try to figure this out for the previous 2-3 months and then track it continually going forward.
You can accomplish this by looking through online credit and debit card statements, reviewing ATM withdrawals, etc.
This will help you figure out where your money is going today and get you in a routine of always monitoring it.
3. Spending Plan (Budget template)
You need to have a system in place to determine how much you have to spend on certain items. It’s not good enough to ‘do it in your head’.
If you’ve already completed the spending tracker, you should have a pretty good idea of where your money is going.
Now you need to estimate your monthly expenses and try to stick to those numbers.
4. Net Worth Tracker
Use the net worth tracker to monitor your accounts and track how much you are saving/investing. This will give you an idea of how important it is to save continuously.
Your net worth probably won’t balloon overnight, but it will over time. Check out my post – “What’s your Net Worth?”
5. How long before your first million?
Check out the chart below to determine how long it will take before you have your first million. Follow the lines based on how much you save per month and your assumed percentage return to see how many years it will take; read more on how long it will take you to reach 1 million.