by Christy Bieber | Nov. 1, 2019
Do you spend more time on chores than on securing your financial future? If you do, you aren't alone.
When it comes to dividing our time among essential tasks, many people have skewed priorities. In fact, recent research by The Ascent shows that Americans spend far more time each week cleaning their houses than they do managing their money -- despite the fact that messy finances can impact your life far more than a little bit of dust.
If your finances aren't in tip-top shape, perhaps it would be smart to allocate a little bit more time to financial issues -- even if it means your house may have to stay a little dusty.
The Ascent's recent research into the financial habits of Americans revealed that on average we spend less than two minutes per day on money management. In comparison, other surveys have showed that Americans spend about six hours weekly on house-cleaning tasks.
Although you don't want to let your house go, it's clear that a great number of Americans are letting their finances go and are not doing the minimum necessary to ensure smart money management.
In fact, the same study by The Ascent showed that around 70% of Americans are not confident that they could miss more than three paychecks without having trouble meeting essential payment obligations -- despite the fact that financial experts recommend an emergency fund that can cover at least three to six months of living expenses. And, even more worrisome: Close to half of Americans don't know how much they should be spending versus saving for the future.
If you have no emergency fund and don't have a plan for spending and saving, your financial life needs a spring clean ASAP. And you should definitely be devoting more than two minutes a day to money management tasks.
If you're spending little to no time daily managing your money, there are a few tasks you should add to your to-do list. These include:
If you're in debt, you should also work out a payoff plan and regularly track your progress toward repaying what you owe.
Some of these tasks are things you should do every day, like tracking spending and checking your card and bank balance. You can do others once a month, like checking your credit score and tracking your progress towards financial goals. While they don't have to take a lot of time, each of them is just as important as having a clean house, and getting them done deserves more than just two minutes a day.
Although you may not need to give money management the same six hours you might put into cleaning your house each week, it is important to devote more than just an hour or so a month to keeping your financial house in order. In the long run, making the effort to tidy up your finances and accomplish tasks such as saving an emergency fund will have a far bigger impact than keeping your house spick and span.
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