Do Less With Your Money

by Galia Gichon on June 1, 2009

Last month I was reading Jada Pinket Smith’s “AHA Moment” in O Magazine about doing less in her life. It was something I could completely relate to on a personal level, which I will share in a few minutes. My “AHA Moment” was realizing that it could be applied to your money and personal finance as well! I consider myself a business owner, wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, runner and more, but not always in that order. These are all areas I feel passionate about but I find that I am constantly doing many things at one time and not necessarily on a quality basis. More and more I realize that I need to commit to less projects and focus on the ones I’m doing. Rather than try and do many seminars or network in twelve different places, I will pick one. When I’m with my children, I vow not to look at my email or just turn my phone off. Shouldn’t this attitude be applied to your money?

One of my most popular seminars is “7 Financial Steps Every Woman Needs to Know”. While it is a great overview seminar, I also encourage the attendees to just focus on one step. Take the same advice to your personal finances. Chances are you have many worries about your money: your credit report, your low savings account, your dwindling IRA, your lack of a budget. Pick one and just focus on it. For example if you want to take charge of your investments then put your budget worries on hold, stop focusing on increasing your FICO score and put your down payment savings on autopilot.

For example, for your investments, here is your assignment:

* Consolidate your investments to one place. I’ve always been a fan of Fidelity or Vanguard.

* Pare down your mutual funds to just 4 or 5.

* Follow the Mutual Fund checklist for buying new mutual funds or deciding if you should keep your existing ones (as found in SIMPLY MONEY class, My Money Matters, and Personal Finance toolkit).

* Bookmark the www.morningstar.com page on your computer so you can easily do check ups.

* Keep your fees as low as possible or none at all. (Meaning you buy no-load mutual funds or mutual funds with a low expense ratio)

* Get a system setup for organizing your statements or files. Once you have done these tasks and felt the accomplishment of thoroughly working on this one area, you will be motivated and energized to tackle the next area of your personal finance life.

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