Family $$$ Matters… Part 5 – The Review Process….

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Welcome to Part 5 of Family Money Matters!!
Yay – we’re on the home stretch – Phew!!!
If you’re coming in midway to this series, then before you read on please go back and read my introduction to this series and my disclaimer in Part 1, then read Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 so that you are up to date with the process, know where I’m going with this & why…

Today I will be sharing the importance of a good review process

All about the ‘Review Process’? …
Ever spent your precious time establishing a new budget/system to manage your Financial Plan, only to find that you’re back where you started in a couple of days/weeks/months??!!…
I know I have!! It’s SO easy to start a new plan with great intentions but more often than not I find myself back to my old bad habits before I’ve even really started…

Sound familiar to you too? Maybe… Maybe not?
… If it does then don’t worry – know that you’re not alone!! 
           ….Most people struggle to form new habits… 

… And that is where the review process comes in, and why it is such such a fundamental part of the whole Financial Management Process!! 

So that’s why do it… but what about…  
…What is the review process?

 … In short the Review Process is an ongoing, regular, assessment of your financial health, and how you are doing in not only living within your means, but also in achieving your future financial priorities that you set. All important stuff!

How do you set up a review process?
Well firstly you need to really look hard at the plan you have established…
  …. the financial priorities you have set…
  …. the structure you have set….
  …. the system you have established….
  …. the risk management you are now putting in place….

then look long and hard at yourself… 
  …. what are the areas you think you’ll be best at keeping? – your strengths ….
  …. what parts will you struggle to maintain? – your weaknesses ….

now ask yourself – what checks do I need to put in place to overcome these weaknesses & make sure I stay on track? 

And the result of all this will form the basis of your Review Process… As you can see – it’s all about you LOL… Just like every other step in this process, the exact process will vary according to your needs, but there are some fundamentals that it should have…

Review process fundamentals:

**  It must be done easily – just like all the other steps, the review process has to be easy to do! It’s not point creating yourself such a lot of work – like writing down every single expense (unless you actually really want to) because otherwise you will start off well, but not be able to maintain it. That’s why my spreadsheet works so well (go back to Part 3 and take a look if you need to) because after the initial set up, there’s minimal work involved maintaining it, so I can just go in every payday and review (in theory at a glance) that we are on track…

**  It must be regular – the regularity may vary according to the system that you have in place, and how good you are at managing that system. I would suggest that at a minimum, at least during your 3 months operating that system, that you review it monthly. Weekly is optimum for helping you keep on track best. 

 … When I worked as a consultant we provided our clients with a complete system programme, which automatically linked with their bank accounts and showed them on a graph where they were in achieving their plan. Gosh it was a cool system!! If you are in NZ and have a home loan, I would highly recommend that you research whether it would be of benefit to you – because it is really really cool. Unfortunately though it’s only available in NZ and through NZ Home Loans. – stink!! – which is why I had to come up with another (much  more inferior) option. 
When using the NZHL debt management system we went back and sat down with our clients after month 1, month 3, month 6 and month 12, then after that 12 monthly unless they requested or needed otherwise. However, we recommended that they reviewed their system themselves monthly – and the clients who were consistently meeting or ahead of their goals were always the ones who reviewed regularly!! It certainly wasn’t a coincidence … and it showed me that regular reviewing was essential…

** It must be made a priority – I think you can figure the reasoning for this one out for yourself LOL…

**  It must be diarised, automatic and followed through with…

Conclusion:

So now we should have completed all steps:

  1. Set our current and future financial priorities
  2. Made sure we have a good structure
  3. Established ourselves a good system
  4. Updated our risk management
  5. Established a good review process

… and we should be well on the way to securing our financial future…

Hopefully this information and sharing my process has been useful to you… If you have been following along then congratulations on making it here to the end!! 🙂
Again, I don’t claim that this is perfect, fully comprehensive and it definitely should not replace professional advice. It is simply my process, my words, my views…. shared with you in the hope it might be of any help or inspiration… and as I’ve said all along – it’s definitely still a work in progress (it probably always will be lol…)

I’ve tried to give all the necessary information, but the downside of writing this as you go, is that I now look back and think I’ve missed some stuff… So if anything is unclear, or you have any further questions feel free to either ask them here, or you can email them privately if you prefer. 
If you would like a copy of my spreadsheet templates with all the formulas intact, then just let me know and I can email them to you.

I’m finished with the entire 5 part system now… but I don’t think you have seen the last of the Family $$$ Matters series yet…

… I don’t know about you but my plan tells me that I need to stop buying groceries, filling up with fuel (what’s with the 30cent a litre fuel increase since Christmas!!!???), go on a fabric diet (boo hooo) and basically more or less stop living until Neil finishes his apprenticeship and we get some more cashflow… 

I’m thinking that I might not be the only one feeling the pinch with all these day to day essentials increasing in price so rapidly?!… so I’m thinking of running some ongoing, linky party features of great money saving/budgeting tips & tools – maybe on the first Monday of every month? – Monthly Money Matters or something? For example – a linky party of people’s favourite affordable, healthy meals. Your input will be essential to making it good though…
Anybody interested? Let me know your feedback so I can figure out if it’s worth doing 🙂


Thanks all for your encouragement, and good luck with your plans!!


5 COMMENTS

  1. Kat, what a great series..I’m a budget-a-holic from way back & LOVE budgeting (I know, I need help).
    I have to admit to letting myself & my budgest go over the summer and am now cursing & kicking myself thinking of the dollars I have wasted…but it was a fun summer!!
    I follow a couple fo great ‘money’ blogs and am watching to see what you come up with next!!

  2. Great series Kat which I found beneficial, though really knowing the state of our financial affairs is a bit daunting now…all the incidentals that I don’t normally account for. Hmmm maybe I need to join the workforce part time.
    I would most definitely be interested any budget friendly tips 🙂
    xx

  3. Well done Kat!
    I had a strict budget – until I got married!!
    You’ve inspired me to sort mine out properly again and look at some areas I’ve been avoiding (ie, making a will….)

    Thanks for this.
    Xx

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