In this day and age, our society is busier than ever. If you’re married, the normal situation is for both spouses to work at least 40 hours a week and usually drive at least 30 minutes one way to their jobs. When you add up everything including commute, lunch breaks and the hour it takes to get ready in the morning that “40 hours” a week job actually ends up taking about 55 hours of your time.
Throw in some activities outside of work and you’re left with only a few hours of downtime. Unless you’re super disciplined, you’re probably not taking advantage of the few hours you have to focus on improving yourself. What if you could benefit massively by doing one thing for 5 minutes a day?
Develop a habit of thinking about your money for five minutes every day.
If you’re just starting to think more in depth about your money it might take a bit longer than 5 minutes to create a budget and see where you stand. Personal Capital is a good app to use to get a grasp on your entire financial situation. Once you’ve got all the details laid out you’re ready to start thinking about your money for only 5 minutes a day!
So how can you expect to benefit by only thinking about something for 5 minutes? It doesn’t feel like much, but you can process a lot of thoughts in a short amount of time. Here are some of the benefits you can expect.
Focusing on money for 5 minutes a day helps you stay on track.
Getting on Personal Capital for a minute or two a day and looking over all your accounts will help keep you accountable and focused on bettering your financial life. Mapping out all of your financials is the first step to mastering personal finance.
You’ll think of things you could do to improve.
When you know where you stand financially, you’ll be able to devote more time to thinking about what you can do to get to the next level. By using a money tracking tool, I’m able to see all of my accounts in a matter of seconds. This frees me up to think about the next financial move I want to make.
You’ll see your spending habits and find areas you can cut back on.
If you’re just starting to track your spending it will take a few weeks to have some data to work with. Now that I’ve been tracking my spending for a couple of years, I’m able to see where I’m wasting money and optimize that area in a matter of seconds.
You’ll be more motivated to pay off debt.
Forcing yourself to look your debt in the face every day is a great motivator to get it paid off. If you decide to use personal capital to track your money, adding your debt accounts will show up as a negative amount and take away from your total net worth. You’ll get tired of seeing the negative pretty quickly and will want to pay it off. You might even try paying a small amount (maybe $5) every day on it. Obviously, you want to pay as much as you can on your debt but developing a habit of paying on it every day could help you stay on point.
You’ll be more motivated to save money.
Looking at the exact same thing every day can get old quickly. If your amount of savings has been the same for more than a week, you’ll get motivated to make the amount larger. You can try the same thing I mentioned with debt and put a small amount towards savings every day.
You’ll think about investing more.
Thinking about the vast world of investing can be overwhelming. If you can spend 5 minutes every now and then reading about investing, you’ll be amazed at how much you learn over time. To save you time I’ll throw in my two cents and say invest your money in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund.
You’ll think of new ways to make extra income.
The more you think about your money, the less complicated it gets. After you’ve got a plan set up, you can put a lot of things on autopilot and get set in a routine. I’m currently a salaried employee so I make the exact same amount from my employer each month. It only took one calculation for me to have a plan for what to do with my salary. This got boring quick, so I started thinking of ways to increase my monthly income through side hustles.
Much like compound interest, your thoughts build up over time.
When you start thinking about your money for 5 minutes a day you’ll run out of things to think about and be forced to think of new things. Over time, the new thoughts and ideas will continue to grow, and you’ll become wiser and wiser.
Limiting the time you think about money to 5 minutes will prevent burnout.
If you really get into personal finance and start getting excited about it, you’ll probably spend a lot more than 5 minutes a day thinking about money. Once you’ve been thinking about your money every day for years, it can be easy to get burned out on the subject. By keeping it short, you’re able to stay on top of everything and spend the rest of your day focusing on other things.
This post is probably getting close to taking more than 5 minutes to read so I’ll wrap it up. I’m sure I didn’t list all of the benefits you can get by thinking about your money for a short amount of time each day. I’ve personally experienced each benefit I listed over the past few years and continue to come up with new thoughts and ideas.
Nobody can say they don’t even have 5 minutes of downtime so what’s your excuse?
Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.