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How to Stay on Track with Money (27 Hard Yet Rewarding Steps)

What steps can you take to stay on track with money? If you feel “behind” and off-track with money then, this is for you! We’ll dive into 27 steps to stay on track with money (your guide to having a quarterly executive money meeting).

First off, stop beating yourself up for financial mistakes!

Managing money is HARD. Beating yourself up for not getting the outcomes you want is never productive (like ever!). The best way to stay on track with money is to have executive money meetings. This is a practice to pat yourself on the back for what you did accomplish, accept the areas you didn’t make progress, and regroup to start fresh for the upcoming month or quarter.
You don’t need to figure this money stuff out on your own. 

You’re invited to join me live for an Executive Money Meeting, this Monday March 29th at 8pm Central  (Best Money Class Ever on IG and FB)!

As a reminder, the last Monday of each month, I’ll be going live for Executive Money Meetings! I hope you join me this Monday! If you have any money questions, you’d like for me to answer live. Please invite friends to the Quarterly Executive Money Meeting!

How to Stay on Track with Money (27 Hard Yet Rewarding Steps)

Staying on track with money isn’t easy, neither are these steps. The hard work is very rewarding! With a Quarterly Executive Money Meeting you can go into the next three months with clarity and spend money confidently, guilt-free, and inline with your values!

Review Your Finance Plan

It’s hard to know where to start with money. The Finance Plan is a step-by-step plan to get out of debt, invest, save for an emergency, and buy a home or car. Stay on track with money by following The Finance Plan and checking in on your finance plan quarterly.
1.    Do an investing check-in
The first step with The Finance Plan is to save 10% of your pay (when paying off debt save 5% to an emergency fund and 5% to investing). Check-in on how much you’re investing for retirement and automate your monthly investing. If you have a change in pay with a new job, then this is the perfect time to adjust how much you’re investing with your new income.
2.    Review your debt payoff
The second step with The Finance Plan is to get out of debt. Where do you stand with debt? Are you adding to your debt load? Or are you paying a set extra amount to your debt each month? Check-in on your debt-free journey. 
3.   What’s your emergency fund status
The third step with The Finance Plan is to have a complete emergency fund. Put a number to how much you want to have in your emergency fund (3-12 months of expenses). Do you have a complete fund? Or maybe you had an emergency and now you want to replenish your fund.
4.    Track progress on home or car savings
The fourth step with The Finance Plan is to save for life purchases like a home or car. A home and car are two big ticket items you’ve gotta get right. Stay on track with money by defining the cost of upcoming life purchases (like a home or car) and review your savings plan for a home or car.

 Close your books!

After getting clarity with The Finance Plan, close your books! Closing your books is an accounting term for finalizing your numbers for a set period. Fill in the final numbers for your Balance Sheet and Income Statement.
5.    Fill in your end of quarter Balance Sheet
Your Balance Sheet is a snapshot or picture of exactly where you stand with money. It shows the current total value of your assets (saving, investments, home, car, etc.) and your liabilities (mortgage, car loan, student loans, credit cards, etc.). Your assets minus liabilities shows your net worth. 
This is the perfect way to stay on track with money and view your progress.
6.    Balance your account with your Income Statement
Balance or reconcile your bank account. Your Income Statement (also known as Profit & Loss Statement) shows your income and expenses. Or this is what you can call the budget. If you crave accountability with money, then account for the transactions in the month. Fil in your actual expenses. You want your ending bank balance to be accurate and represent how much is truly in your bank account.

Next with your Quarterly Executive Money Meeting map out what’s going on in your life!

If you think of budgeting your expenses (and want to gag), then rewire your brain to think of expenses as experiences in your life. Experiences in life (like repairing a leaky roof, going on hikes, and getting a massage) can be good, bad, and ugly AF. Experiences come with a price tag from free to thousands of dollars. 

Write a list of what you want to do over the next three months in these areas:

7.    Medical 
Think through, write a list, and mark your calendar for upcoming doctor’s visits, specialists, prescription refills, surgeries, vet visits, etc.
8.    Maintenance
Is something currently broken or not working? Home and car repairs are part of life. Instead of being blind-sided, be realistic with maintenance you need to do for the quarter. This can be plumbing, heat or cooling, fence, roof, foundation, car battery, tires, filters, etc.
9.    Projects 
Get ready to tackle your pins and bring to life your projects for the quarter. Write a list of household projects like new furniture, appliances, linen, flooring, paint/wallpaper, decorations, landscaping, gardening, etc.
10.  Celebrations 
What will you be celebrating this quarter? Mark down birthdays, holidays, baby showers, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, etc. with gift ideas or party planning notes.
11.  Travel
Now’s the time to plan your vacation! List places you’re itching to see. Write out notes for transportation options (flights vs. road trip), accommodations, car rental, site seeing, tours, retreats, conferences, or out of town events.
12.  Fun
Write out anything else you want to experience for the upcoming quarter. This is the fun stuff, that’ll give you a rush when you buy it like clothes, shoes, hat, jewelry, tv, cell phone, tablet, sports games, beauty, etc.
13.  Estimate costs
 Now you know what’s going on in your life, get quotes from companies, check prices, see if you can buy used, read reviews, etc. This is the opposite of emotional online spending. You’re nailing down what you want and mindfully preparing to buy! 

Map out your income for the upcoming quarter

Next, you’ll piece your plan together by projecting your income for the next three months with an Income Statement. Your income isn’t just your paycheck!

Here’s everything you’ll use to project your income.

14. Find out your starting balance for the quarter 
After you closed the books for the quarter, you’ll have an accurate balance (or amount in your bank account). What’s left over in your account at the end of the quarter is your starting balance for the upcoming quarter.
15. Review upcoming paychecks
If you get paid monthly with an employer, then your paycheck will be the same every month. For everyone else, your paychecks for each month will vary. For example, if you get paid every other week most months, you’ll have two paychecks, but some months you’ll have three paychecks.
16. Check to see if your getting extra income from a bonus or side hustle
Forecast any additional income you’ll receive from a side hustle, rental, child support, stimulus, gift, etc.
17. Returns, Refunds, or Reimbursement
If you returned any items or received a tax refund, then enter the amount as income. Any expenses reimbursed for your work is also an income.

Map out fixed expenses for the month 

Take the guess work out of budgeting when you become familiar with your fixed expenses. Most everything you spend is known, literally fixed, and 100% in your control.


Review how much your set costs (fixed expenses) are monthly (and automate them!) in these areas:

18. Investing 
Pay yourself first and invest a set amount (10%!) a month. 
19. Charity 
Automate your donations to church or nonprofits. Pay the same amount each month.
20. Housing
This is your mortgage or rent plus your water, electricity, gas, or HOA. Technically your utilities aren’t the same monthly, but it’s something set you have to pay every month. Take the last three months and get an average to forecast these costs.
21. Insurance 
Most insurances are deducted already from your pay, like health, life, or disability insurance. You’ll also have car or renter’s insurance.
22. Services 
Reviewing your services (cell, internet, gym, streaming, subscriptions, alarm, etc.) is a great way to stay on track with money. Often, you’ll have services you don’t even use or can go without!
23. Debt Payments
Familiarize yourself with your monthly debt minimum payments on student loans, car loans, credit cards, etc. If you have student loans on deferment, make a plan to start your repayment.

Map out flex expenses

Project your flex expenses (AKA experiences) that vary from month to month, by reviewing what’s going on in your life.
24. Determine how much you’ll spend on day-to-day purchases 
Ditch online emotional spending or wasting money on take-out. Pace your spending by allocating a set amount of cash for day-to-day purchases (groceries, gas for your car, happy hours, small gifts, eating out, etc.). I call this weekly cash! This ensures you have money for the more important or fun purchases like flights or a new kitchen table.
25. Assign a month for other flex expenses
Now you have a to-do list for the next three months for maintenance, medical, projects, celebrations, travel, and fun with an estimate of the costs, assign these items to a month. For example, if you’re traveling, when will you buy the flight? Can you pay for tours in advance?
26. Review your projected ending balances each month of the upcoming quarter
When you project your income and expenses, you’ll see on your Income Statement if you’re in the red (or will overspend) by looking at the projected ending monthly balances. 
27. Tweak your plan 
Does something gotta give?  When you see a cost for these expenses and your ending balance is negative, then either cut your expenses or increase your revenue!  For example, you might have on your to-do list to spend two weeks on a camping trip and go on a bachelorette get away weekend. You can do both, but you’d need to get extra cash from taking on extra shifts. Or you can go on a one week camping trip, only do one trip, or do your camping trip later in the year.


You’re the boss! Make executive decision on what you want to do in your life for the upcoming three months. Try these 27 steps to stay on track with money with a Quarterly Executive Money Meeting.  Again, join me LIVE on Monday, March 29th at 8pm and we’ll talk all about Executive Money Meetings (@Bestmoneyclassever on FB or IG)!


P.S. Don’t forget, Best Money Class Ever, my signature 4-week personal finance class starts April 6th.  Get the details on how class works and enroll here.  Returning students can enroll in money coaching sessions to check-in, get a refresher, and get support returning students get the details here. If you have questions, just reply back to this email! 

Here’s Real Results from Real People Just Like You
  • Meaghan paid off $3,135 in credit card debt in three months
  • Claire saved her first $1,000 for retirement two months after class
  • Jessica and Daniel are 100% debt-free.  They paid off over $21,000 within a year of taking the class
  • Loren and Bryce tripled their net worth in two years
  • Kim paid off $45,404 in 28 months
  • Samantha and Stan doubled their income with a side hustle and are now 100% debt-free (they paid for a truck with cash!)
  • Ashley saved $10,000 for a rainy day and paid off $15,000 in medical debt
  • Jessica and Matthias paid off $61,000 in debt in 20 months 
Carly Best Money Class Ever

Hi! I'm Carly

Here you’ll learn how to pay off debt, invest (confidently!), and stress less about money!

I’m a Finance grad and creator of Best Money Class Ever, a 4-week live virtual personal finance class.  I paid off $35,000 of debt and saved $100,000 by age 26. You can pay off debt and build savings too!

kim best money class ever

Kim paid off $45k in 28 months

Loren and Bryce best money class ever

Loren and Bryce tripled their net worth in two years.

Jessica and Matthias best money class ever

Jessica and Matthias paid off $61k in 20 months

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