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Master the Quick and Painless Money Check-In

Lauren McMullen asked Lazetta why regularly checking in on your money is important.

Like cars, relationships and health, personal finance needs maintenance. Routine care now helps you in the future and alerts you to problems.

But check-ins can be easy to blow off, particularly if everything seems to be running smoothly.

“Comfortable might not be the best thing,” says certified financial planner Lazetta Rainey Braxton.

You can feel comfortable while missing opportunities to invest. “You can take your money for granted,” says Braxton, who’s also the co-founder and co-CEO of 2050 Wealth Partners, a financial planning and wealth management firm.

You may also sink a little too far into comfort while spending more as your salary increases, meaning you can’t save much.

Or maybe the issue is actually discomfort. If the very idea of reviewing bank statements stresses you out, why bother?

Whatever the reason for a laissez-faire money policy, it’s time to start tuning in — especially as effects of the coronavirus outbreak rattle the economy.

No need for a deep dive. Start with quick and painless check-ins:

Schedule Check-Ins

You’re not alone if you typically wait until something goes wrong, like an overdraft, before reviewing your finances, says Amanda Clayman, financial wellness advocate for Prudential. Cue a traumatizing trifecta: You feel bad, you must scramble to understand your finances and what went wrong — oh, and you have to fix the problem. This experience can lead you to associate checking your finances with stress.

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