CNBC Make It is posting a new financial task to tackle each day for a month. These are all meant to be simple, time-sensitive activities to take your mind off of the news for a moment and, hopefully, put you on sturdier financial footing. This is day 23 of 30.
Even in the best of times, many people only check on their finances when something goes wrong, such as when they miss a student loan payment or are hit with an overdraft fee. And that makes money a constant source of stress, which is likely compounded by the current uncertain economic environment.
Today, do something to ease that financial stress. You're already tracking your spending and getting your account balances texted to you each day. Now, take it one step further: Institute a short, daily financial routine in which you set aside time to review your daily account alerts and log in to the accounts to review your transactions and payments.
Doing this in a habitual way can make money feel less like a source of anxiety. Rather than only checking your accounts when something goes wrong, you're conditioning yourself to do it each day, no matter what. In time, it will become just another normal item on your daily to-do list.
Create a relaxing atmosphere in your home and set a time to check your bank, credit card and loan accounts each morning for five minutes after you wake up, or in the evening as you wind down, to get a sense of your financial picture for the day. Better still, write down your thoughts and feelings on your accounts after you've spent some time reviewing them.
"Listen to music you like and keep a financial journal to chronicle goals, desires and feelings," Elizabeth Enright Phillips, a financial and minimalist coach, told CNBC. "Chart ideas for new avenues of income."
This can help create a sense of calm, says Phillips. You'll get more comfortable with your account balances and how much debt you have.
It "is a small but powerful step in financial self-care," she says.
Don't miss the past five days:
- Day 18: Find a better bank account
- Day 19: Take one thing off of your to-do list for the coming week
- Day 20: Join a money community for financial support
- Day 21: Prepare for a recession by prioritizing your emergency fund
- Day 22: Turning saving into a game can help you stash away more money