Challenge

Day 15: Evaluate Financial Past (30 Day Financial Wellness Challenge)

A necessary step in your progress to becoming financially well.

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Day 15: Evaluate Financial Past (30 Day Financial Wellness Challenge)Welcome to Day 15 of the 30-Day Financial Wellness Challenge.

Each day will comprise of financial exercises, some short and others a bit longer, to help you become financially fit. The goal is to tackle different aspects of personal finances one day at a time.

After the 30 days, you’ll have a stronger understanding of your financial health and an action plan to improve your financial wellbeing. Review Day 14: Tax Transcripts

On Day 15, we’re wrapping up Phase 2: Evaluating your financial past. It’s important to evaluate your financial past to help you understand the results of your financial health checkup.

In Phase 3, we’ll discuss mindset, vision, values and life goals. And we can’t have a meaningful conversation about your future without addressing your past that informs your present decision making.

To recap, you evaluated the following:

  • earnings statement – shows the history of money you’ve earned (Day 10)
  • credit report – uncovers how you’ve managed credit (Day 11)
  • banking relationships – asks to reassess how you bank (Day 12)
  • paycheck & paystub – gives insight about your income and benefits (Day 13)
  • tax transcripts – provides an overview of your taxes paid (Day 14)

You might have wondered why it’s been challenging for you to grow income, improve credit, pay off debt, save or invest money. The answers can be found by looking at your past. It can be quite revealing and helpful.

In the past 5 days, I challenged you to look at your financial past by reviewing records. Doing so provides insights into your relationship with money which we will further explore in the Awareness Phase.

Day 15 Assignment

Since your past is unique to you, the recommended action will vary based on what you’ve uncovered.

  1. Take the time to revisit the previous assignments. What have you uncovered about your past?
  2. Write down your thoughts or indicate key findings in the Comment column.
  3. Consider Next Action steps based on your results.

Financial Past Evaluation

Key Findings & CommentsNext Steps
Earnings StatementRetirement income planning

Multiple income sources

Credit ReportImprove Credit File

Establish Credit Report

Increase Credit Score

Banking RelationshipsSwitch from Bank to Credit Union

Find an Online Savings Account

Fix your Chexsystems Report

Paycheck & PaystubUpdate W-4 Allowance

Increase 401k Contributions

Ask HR about other benefits

Tax TranscriptsSpeak with a tax specialist

Use tax-advantaged accounts

Create a strategy to lessen taxes

Why is an evaluation of your financial past important?

It’s a necessary step in your progress to becoming financially well. Your past can help you understand the results of your financial health checkup. And most importantly, evaluating your past helps you see a history of progress amidst the twist and turns of your recent financial reality.

Additional Reading

  • Credit Karma offers you two free credit scores and access to credit report cards using the information found on your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports.
  • Personal Capital is a free personal finance app with a 360-degree view of your money. With Personal Capital, you can see all your accounts in one place with planning and analysis tools.

Next Daily Challenge: Day 16: What’s Your Vision?

What’s coming ahead?

Congrats on completing Phase 2: Evaluating Your Financial Past. In the next few days, we’re going into the Awareness phase. Now, that you understand your present and past, I’m going to focus your attention on your mindset, vision, values, and goals.

Jason Vitug

Jason is the founder of phroogal, creator of the award winning project Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and New York Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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