Why You Should Take a Personal Money Day

Do you take a personal Money Day? Learn why you should and how you can use a Money Day to take control of your financial life.

Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #215

Money Day Task #4: Open a Retirement Account

Though it might sound scary, opening a retirement account is easy. And setting up regular, automated investments is one of the best ways to prepare for your future. If your job offers any sort of retirement plan that matches your contributions, make sure you're taking advantage of it.

[[AdMiddle]Also consider opening a Roth IRA, which is a type of Individual Retirement Account. An IRA is like a basket where you can put individual investments. The great thing about using a Roth IRA to save for retirement is that you're never taxed when your investments grow or when you take withdrawals during retirement.

Money Day Task #5: Start Tracking Your Spending

You can't change your habits if you don't know where your money goes. You can track your spending with a simple notebook, but most people find that a computer makes it easier. You can create your own spreadsheets or you can use financial software like Quicken. Nowadays, online money management tools are popular. Use part of your Money Day to set up an account at Mint.com or Adaptu.com. Tracking your spending may seem tedious, but this one change can work wonders for your finances.

Money Day Task #6: Set Financial Goals

Most people putter though life without any idea where they're going. You don't need to be one of them. Before your Money Day is done, set some financial goals for you and your family. Decide where you'd like to be ten years from now. For goals to be effective, they have to be personal. They have to mean something to you. The following five basic goals would be a great place to start:

  • Establish an emergency fund of at least $1,000
  • Boost your existing savings to $5,000 or more
  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Fund your retirement accounts each year
  • Save for major expenses, like a home, a car, or a wedding

Goals keep you on track because they give you something specific to work toward. When you know why you're working so hard and making sacrifices, it's easier to succeed with your money.

These are just a few of the tasks you might choose to do on your personal Money Day. You could also borrow some personal finance books from your public library, set up a budget, install a programmable thermostat, or even learn how to negotiate your salary. Only you can say which tasks are most important and which tasks you've been putting off.

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This article was written by J.D. Roth, the author of Your Money: The Missing Manual, who blogs at GetRichSlowly.org. It was edited and read in the podcast by Laura Adams.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a trusted and frequent source for the national media. Her book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.