Last week I took the one-step challenge to organize my finances.
To meet the challenge, I decided to build a one-sheet, dashboard-style view of our finances. I determined it should have our personal income statement and balance sheet, as well as the account IDs and passwords associated with those accounts.
The dashboard will also provide any details about any automatic transfers or payments that I have in place. Lastly, at the bottom of the page I’d place our main financial goals. Here’s what it looks like:
This “dashboard” will allow me to see a quick view of our net worth, budget, log-in credentials for each account, and goals we’re striving for. Not only will it help me manage my finances better, it will provide a cheat sheet for Mrs. PT in the event something were to happen to me.
It’s a good idea to print out a copy and throw it in the safe.
My One Step is The First Step
Getting the big picture of your finances in front of you like this is the first step anyone should take in organizing their finances. Just like in my 10 Things series, where my first step is to “track your regular monthly expenses”. You don’t have to have your financial act together to complete this exercise. This could be your first step. Knowing where you stand is a good starting point for turning things around.
Build Your Own Financial Dashboard
While I’m not going to share my exact dashboard, I’ve built a template for you to use. It’s nothing fancy. Still, feel free to grab it, fill it with your own information, then stash it somewhere safe and secure. Share the template with your friends too. The login credential area is shaded grey so it’s a bit harder to read for someone standing over your shoulder.
Of course, life changes all the time, so your financial statements will only be accurate for a short time. Consider adding the dashboard to your jump/flash drive or your Google Documents account so you can periodically update them.
Good luck and let me know if you have any questions on editing your dashboard.