Off Track? Get Reacquainted With Your Finances Again

Photo by kevindooley

Your finances have a lot in common with your home. When you’ve been going through a tough time, your home shows it. Things start to pile up. It’s so easy to want to avoid it all.

Everyone knows this feeling:    I can’t deal with this right now. 

It’s totally normal in a stressful situation, but at some point, you do have to take a look at your finances.

What would be the first thing you would do in your home to clean it up? Do you pull everything out of your closet, and then rearrange it from top to bottom, sorting your clothes by color? No, you wash the dishes and take out the trash. Start with the basic essentials.

1. Open your mail and gather your bills.

2. Check your bank balance.

Now is not the time to feel like you have to reconcile your past nine months of checking account statements to catch up. Just start with the most recent statement and rely on the bank’s balance for the time being while you get started (keep in mind the recent deposits and payments that might not have cleared yet). Sure, it would be ideal to have it all reconciled, but don’t let perfectionism give you an excuse to avoid it longer.

I know this is a sensitive subject, but I just want to encourage anyone who is feeling overwhelmed in their money situation. It will get better. Just look up, and take the next step.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. While my husband and I are pretty stable financially, I feel like even though we have a budget I am not very good at sticking to it! It definitely takes more work than just knowing how much I have to spend — I really have to track every purchase and plan things out so I don’t go overboard.

    Allegra´s last blog post..Spring Cleaning, here I come

  2. I’ve never really had much problem reconciling each month and keeping a good handle on the finances and checkbook. I find that it helps to list these things individually on my to do list.

    For example instead of listing “take care of finances,” I would write:

    1. “reconcile bank statement”
    2. “pay electric bill”
    3. “record receipts in checkbook”

    By breaking everything down into specific small tasks, it helps me not feel overwhelmed or like I have to get it all done at one sitting.

    Also when bills come in the mail, I keep them all in one place on my desk in order with the next bill due on top, so I know what needs to be paid next and nothing gets forgotten.

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog post..Mom…and loving it! by Laurie Hilliard and Sharon Autry

  3. Francis says:

    Ouch! this one hits home as I have been feeling very guilty for being about 5 months behind on entering receipts… fortunately we keep good track of the checking account online. I’m sure I have been spending more than I should though because I have not been keeping track. Today I need to organize my desk so I can find things and tomorrow I will spend some time on this…
    Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Thanks for your good reminder. I really enjoy reading your blog. You give sound advice without piling on guilt. =)

  5. Krista says:

    Thanks for this. We are in a state of financial crisis right now and living on a very restricted budget. Knowing this sometimes keeps me from keeping track of bills and statements all together. Your words help me push through the panic and take care of what we can.

  6. Wow – so glad you blogged this today as I have fallen off the wagon – so to speak… getting back on track today.. thanks for thr reminder…

  7. Great post and very good reminders to stay on top of your home and finances.

    Q: What would be the first thing I would do to clean up?
    A: I recently sorted through an old accordian file with tons of old pay stubs, paid bill receipts, old bank statements, etc. I have them all in a huge shopping bag and I need to have a shredding night!

  8. I’m so thankful for this post today! I’ve been off track for over a month. I know it just haven’t made the time to fix it! This is on my list for tomorrow, and your post was just the encouragement I needed to make that the priority. Blessings to you!

    kristyn´s last blog post..will walk for blessings

  9. Thank you for this! Not only was it encouraging, it was motivating as well :)

  10. Oh, I am so far off track … thank you for the gentle nudge! I used to do this for a living, and somehow since I became a full-time mother, well, you know. :)

    Rachel M´s last blog post..Signs of Life