Welcome to Day 30 of our 30-Day Easy Money Makeover! Every day in April, we’re bringing you strategies to help you improve, and feel more confident about, your money situation. Follow along and see the rest of the calendar here.
You did it! Here we are on the last day of our 30-Day Easy Money Makeover. We’re done—but at the same time, we’re just getting started.
Our aim for this project was to set out small daily tasks to get you saving money and understanding more about your money. Now it’s time to take stock and think about what moves you can make from here.
As the first part of that, look back over the challenge and see if there are missed tasks you need to catch up on, or fully complete. Did you update the beneficiaries for all your retirement accounts? Still need to call about getting a better deal on your auto insurance?
Don’t think of any misses as failures, points out Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and the founder of Brunch & Budget in New York City. “This is a jumping off point,” she says. “If you were able to accomplish even a few things in 30 days, that’s a big win.”
Here are some next steps to consider:
1. Start tracking progress
Early on in the challenge, we walked you through some key numbers—including your net worth and your credit score—that can help you keep tabs on your financial health. As we wrap up the challenge, it’s a good time to revisit them, both to note any changes and see where there’s more room to improve.
2. Share what you’ve learned
If you’ve been doing the challenge solo, now might be a good time to set up a money date with your partner. That’s a smart idea in general, to get on the same page about your finances, says Doug Boneparth, a certified financial planner and coauthor of “The Millennial Money Fix.” “You should be able to share this information with the people around you, who are part of the financial decisions in your life,” he says.
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3. Set up reminders
Many of the tasks we set for you aren’t “one and done.” You’ll benefit from rebalancing your portfolio every year, for example, and from periodically updating your home inventory. Take a few minutes to set up calendar reminders so that you won’t forget to revisit these tasks.
4. Look for gaps
A consequence of the makeover might be that you see areas where you need to do more planning or take additional steps—like preparing a will, assessing your options on life insurance, or getting your student loan debt under control. Or you might see an opportunity to build on past tasks, like improving your credit score as part of planning to purchase a home, says Capalad.
While you’re brainstorming, think about what support systems you might want in place, she says. What would motivate you to tackle a harder task? Do you want to hire a professional to help, or take a class?
“The hard tasks are going to be the tasks people continue to ignore,” Capalad says. “But these are all things that ought to get done.”
April 30, 2019