Personal Improvement

How Not to Over Think Your Finances

Updated on March 27, 2020 Updated on March 27, 2020
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Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

No one should spend too much time thinking about or managing their finances.  Learn some tricks to make it easier.

If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you know that we emphasize the importance of monitoring your finances. But there is such a thing as too much. We’ll teach you how to pay attention to your finances without becoming too obsessive.

Particularly if you’re just starting out, you can tend to trend towards checking your finances to a degree that is not healthy. If you decide to take up running, you don’t sign up for a marathon that is a week away. The same applies to money.

Nothing financially meaningful happens in a day.

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You can replace one bad habit with another. Did you use to obsessively shop online? Now you obsessively check Both are detrimental. This behavior wastes time and breaks up the flow of your workday. You can make mistakes because of it. You invested in Apple and lost $5 today? Sell that shit, NOW! No, you’re in this for the long con. Day to day does not matter.

Over budgeting. Don’t go nuts. You can break down your expenses to a ridiculous degree. Graphing out how much shampoo you use per wash is not a good use of your time. It goes under “pharmacy.”

You throw every cent you have into investing. Great! But you put your bill money into investments. Now you have to pull that money out to pay your bills. Not great. No matter how gung-ho you are, the bills still need to be paid. The money you invest is separate from the money you need to live.

You can put yourself in a bad situation with good intent.

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To go along with investing. Paying down your debt is priority numero uno. Paying down a debt to the point that you need to take out a cash advance on your credit card at 1,000% interest, no bueno. Don’t do that.

If this is a real problem for you, delete the financial apps from your phone. Use our template of “weekly practice.” Pick a day and that day is the day you check your budget just to make sure things are lining up as they should.

Weekly is too often to check investments. Once a month is sufficient to keep you informed without making you crazy.

At Listen, Money Matters we want to make sure that you are living the best life you can while ensuring that money is something that fades into the background. If finances are taking over your life, stop. Have the wine. Set up your systems and let these things take care of themselves.

Show Notes Our book that will allow you to manage your finances without driving yourself to distraction.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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