Do you check your personal finances, income, and expenses at the end of the month? Here is my monthly money routine that I am performing to know where I am at.
February has just started and I’ve just published my January monthly report. This is the perfect time to go more into my monthly money routine and to see what I do on a monthly basis to maintain my personal finances.
This routine will help you to go through your finances and see have insight into where you currently are financially.
Just remember that personal finance is personal, what I am doing on a monthly basis may not be what you want to be doing. Don’t compare yourself with others.
Check this monthly money routine out and personalize it for your own specific situation when you want to.
Why Should You Have A Monthly Money Routine?
Organizing your finances and staying on top of them is a continuous effort. You can’t organize your finances now and be done with it for the rest of the year.
It is something that needs to be done periodically to see where you are at financially.
In the beginning, it may be very uncomfortable to dive into your finances. You need to get used to it. It is very hard for many people to start getting a hold of their finances and reach their goals.
As time goes by, you will start to enjoy it and you will see the results of your hard work. You will notice that there is much outdated financial advice out there, as long as you stick to your plan you’ll be great!
I personally notice that I enjoy seeing the results and having insights into my finances from publishing my monthly reports.
Here is the monthly money routine I am personally using to see if I’m on track to meet my goals!
1. Track My Job Income And Expenses
As soon as the month is over, I am tracking my income and expenses.
I check where I spend my money on and I check if my spending is in line with my budget. I also look at my income, seeing if there is any mistake in salary payout (this happens around 2-3x per year with my company).
The most important things for me is to track my spending and know where I’m spending the most money on a month to month basis. Whether I go over or under my specific budget category is not as relevant. The most important thing is that I am tracking my spending and it’s not going into all kinds of directions.
I check how much I spend in each category and I evaluate what went well and which expenses I should put more attention to.
2. Check My Credit Cards
I have to say that I’m not doing this every month, as I’m not using my credit card that often. When I’m traveling or buying things online and I’m using my card, I’m always checking if the card is charged right.
These expenses should also be in my total expense overview, so I double-check if that is the case.
3. Check Passive Income Sources
When I have my expenses all written down, I go to my passive income sources. I have several peer-to-peer and crowdlending platforms that I invest in, that provide me with monthly passive income.
I check how much passive income I get from all my platforms separately:
- Mintos – check out my full Mintos review here
- Crowdestor – check out my full Crowdestor review here
- Reinvest24 – check out my full Reinvest24 review here
The passive income that I get from these sources I almost always reinvest again in the platform. This means that I am not taking out any money from the platforms.
I note how much income I have gotten over the month and I calculate how much return that has given me annualized.
I add all my passive income sources and I note them down to see how I am doing compared to other months.
4. Check Side Hustle Income
Besides building up passive income, I am also building side hustle income. This is active income that I am getting for putting my effort and hours into something.
I add them all up and try to increase them month over month.
5. Compare Expenses With Income Outside Job
Now I am done noting down all my expenses, my income from my job, and my income outside my job. I add them all together and I see how much is the gap between my monthly expenses and my income outside my job (side hustle income + passive income).
This is a motivator for me to see how close I am getting to covering my expenses with income outside my day job.
Here is an example of how I track that:
One of the things, why I like tracking that, is that you can see the various stages of life visualized. For example, September to December I was having a mini-retirement and I was traveling the world while not earning any money. You can see that my expenses rise and my income lowers.
Do you want to have your own mini-retirement, here’s how to negotiate a mini-retirement for yourself.
Now I’m back home and working on the blog again, which makes my income go up a bit and my expenses lower significantly.
6. Check My Bank Accounts
After I’ve checked all my income and expenses, I will check the values of my bank accounts. I do this so that I can accurately calculate my net worth for the month.
I make an overview of how much money I hold in each account. This goes for my bank accounts, my long term savings accounts, and my broker accounts.
I like to have an overview of where my money is and what I am doing with my money. Some months, I notice that I am having a lot of cash or transferred a lot to my investment account. This makes sure that I can course-correct when I’m not managing my money as I want.
7. Invest My Money
When I have checked my bank accounts, I know how much I hold in stocks, peer-to-peer lending, and cash. If I have too much cash in a month, I will take some money out and transfer it to my brokerage account.
In general, I try to have six months of savings stored in an emergency fund. This is a savings account with my bank. In the Netherlands, we don’t get any interest on money in our savings account, BUT if you live in a country where they do have that – go for it!
For my checking account, I will leave €1000 as a buffer for the rest of the month. The rest of the money I will move towards my broker and my peer-to-peer lending accounts. Generally, I will invest much more in my brokerage account than in my peer-to-peer accounts, because of the risk associated with the peer-to-peer market.
8. Check My Net Worth
Once I know how much money I have in all my investments and individual accounts, I can calculate my net worth.
I only started tracking my net worth from January 2018, but before that I would not have been so interesting. In college I was hoovering between -€10,000 and -€20,000 on and off.
These are things that keep me motivated since these are quantifiable numbers that most probably will go up over time. I love to see how my net worth keeps going up and that really encourages me.
If you want to grow your net worth, you should first know what it is. That’s the most important first step!
9. Check How Far I Am In My FIRE Journey
When I have all that data, I am checking how far I am in my FIRE (financial independence retire early) journey. I have several metrics for that. This is my net worth, my passive income, and my percentage to FIRE.
My net worth is discussed above. My net worth expressed as a percentage of my FIRE number (the amount of money I need to be financially independent), is expressed as my percentage to FIRE.
Just as my net worth, this keeps me motivated and targeted on the journey to financial independence. The desirable way for this to go is UP. I am doing my best to increase this number as much as possible. BUT, I’m not stressing myself out over when I’ll be able to retire.
I know I will be able to retire, I want it sooner rather than later. The only thing I can influence now is my joy in the current moment and making my journey to retirement as fun as possible.
10. Check In On My Goals
I set yearly goals for myself. Things that I determined at the beginning of the year that I want to accomplish. Every month, I’m setting smaller goals that are helping me to achieve the bigger ones.
|Get €300 Monthly Passive Income||Jan: €150|
|Get €1000 Side Hustle Income||Cum: €255|
|Increase My Income By 10%||April: By 28%||Yes|
|Have A 75% Savings Rate||Jan: 76%|
|Work Out 3x Per Week||Jan: 2.5x|
|Move 30 Minutes Daily||Jan: 5/7 days|
|Meditate Daily||Jan: 5/7 days|
|Journal Daily||Jan: 5/7 days|
|Plan My Weeks Of Work||Jan: no|
|Read 12 Books||Jan: none|
|Write Daily||Jan: yes|
|Connect With Others||Jan: be more active|
|Have Fun||Jan: Yes!!|
These are my current goals and my current progress. I check every month if I’m still on track and what else I can do to challenge myself.
Besides that, I have monthly goals that I publish on the blog for accountability. I am very quickly distracted and I procrastinate a lot, meaning that I really need the accountability of the goals on the blog to reach for them. I am forced to reflect on them once per month so that I don’t forget them or put my focus on something else.
If you would like to have an accountability partner, you can simply email me at [email protected] and I motivate you to keep to your goals!
11. Check My Blogging Stats
Even though I have multiple side hustles at the moment, the income is all accounted for when I get it on my bank account. This is incorporated in steps 1-3, where I check my income and my expenses.
I like to see what my blogging stats are doing because I want to know that. I am not actively doing something with it at this moment, but it’s great to see what direction your blog is growing. Of course, when you see your numbers grow, this is a motivator.
For the moment, I’m simply wanting to put out quality posts three times per week. I believe if I consistently do that, my traffic starts to grow automatically. If this is not the case, I will reassess in a few months and see what I can do about it.
Blogging is a great way to stay accountable for steps 1 to 10. It can be really easy and cheap to start a blog if you need outer accountability. I can assure you that it motivates a lot!
After I’ve done all these things, I am writing my monthly report posts. These posts have all the details on my income, my expenses, my passive income, my side hustle income, and my goals.
If you don’t have a blog, you may want to skip this step and simply review your numbers.
All In All
I believe it is good to have a monthly money routine so that you can keep a hold of your finances and you know where you stand financially.
I love gathering all these graphs, this information, and it makes me really happy to see where I stand financially. You can say I am a big personal finance nerd and I am happier for it!
Do you have a monthly money routine? Do you keep track of your personal finances every month?
Like this post? Save it for later! 📌