For a long, long time I cooked by the smell of burnt. What does that mean exactly? It means I didn’t pay attention to what I was cooking until it was too late – I’d throw a pot roast in the oven and forget about it until I smelled smoke, I’d steam bunches of asparagus till the water was long gone and the bottom of the pot scorched black. Pancakes didn’t stand a chance in my kitchen. I was a business owner and the single mother of a young child: cooking was not my priority.
What does this have to do with organizing your finances? Plenty. Good cooking requires focus. Things turn out best when you pay attention – to the ingredients, the amount of heat, the order in which you assemble dishes, and how the food is coming along. The same principle applies to managing your finances. You’ve got to watch the money pot if you want things to turn out well. But many people only think about money once they already smell something burning – e.g. late fees on a credit card, an unexpected expense they are ill prepared for – and by that time, it’s too late.
Let’s talk turkey: How much time do you spend looking at your money flow? And is it enough? As a time management coach, finding time to pay attention to finances is a common request from my clients. The recipe is simple- create a reliable routine.
New York Times bestselling author Julie Morgenstern is an organizing and time-management expert, business productivity consultant and speaker. Her company, Julie Morgenstern Enterprises, is dedicated to using her philosophies and methods to provide a wide range of practical solutions that transform the way people and companies function.