One thing that Bret and I have started to be really aware of is our budget. We’ve used Mint (totally free and amazing for budgeting and goals) for about 3 years. It’s helped us have a good picture of what we’re actually spending, not what we think we’re spending. As Bret has been growing his real estate investing business, there have been a whole lot of mindset shifts, growth, and thinking about things differently (for both of us). One thing we’ve started to do is have a weekly “finances meeting.” We look at our budgets, how close we are to going over, and looking at our net worth. We’ve started to keep our “envelope accounts” (one for taxes, one for bills, one for real estate, etc) as Capital One 360 savings accounts. What’s great about that is we’re earning interest on them every month. It’s great seeing our passive income grow, just by keeping our money there. I added a section to our spreadsheet that now lists all of those envelope accounts and our Roth IRA accounts. It’s awesome seeing our total net worth going up. I’ve found keeping a weekly eye on our budgets has been helpful. It lets us see if we have room to add in something fun or not. It also lets us know if we won’t meet our budget for something, and quickly see where we’ll have to move money from another category (basically, it’s less going to savings).
So what used to give me major anxiety, guilt, and shame (because of our debt), now brings encouragement, and accuracy.
What do you do to keep track of your finances?
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