This is more of pre-baby steps than it is actual baby steps. To be honest this is boring and tedious but something that must be done to see where you are.
I may have done more than you will want to but I’m a nerd. I’ll also be more than happy to share my sheets with anyone who wants them, in fact I might link to some examples.
– Spending Plan – This is still a work in progress to this day but I wanted to start getting this ready before we actually wanted or were ready to use it.
– Where the Money Goes – This sheet showed what expenses where in the past and will be in the future. I’m a numbers geek and already had the numbers to do this.
– What We Owe – I used this sheet to start tracking all of our debt and money. In this sheet I included what our balance was, interest rate, vehicle payoff, house payoff, savings accounts and checking account. This was used to break down other documents.
– Debt Snowball – People do these differently but for us I wanted my wife to see the benefits so I contructed this largest to smallest. I listed every single debt, except the house, from smallest to largest. I included minimum payments and calculated based on our current path how long it would take to pay off each. I then totaled the total debt and minimum payments to show how much we owed.
– Equity Sheet – I could have skipped this step but really wanted to see where we were at. I took what we owed and things were worth, plus any savings and retirement to see what our net worth was.
– Credit Cards – I’ll dive into this more later but I wanted to basically show what open cards we had and what cards were closed.
– To Do – As I went through all of this I kept a notepad going of items that I needed to do. This is easier for me as I don’t want to remember everything, and frankly can’t remember it all.
These are some of the things I did while my wife and I talked and planned. You can get started without doing each of these but I feel in order to really move forward you have to know where your money is so that you can make a plan of what to do with it going forward.
I think that I’ll explain each of these in greater detail with examples over the next week.