I'm Not as Chic a CEO as I'd Like to Be...

Written by LauraGiveMe10 Published in

Thought Leader Blog Post

But I’m getting better… I'm on Week 2 of my July goal to build a personal Financial Fact Sheet. I’m creating a one-sheet of all the key financial data for our family. I am embarrassed to say that until now the financial info has been here, there and everywhere. I know I can get my hands on it, but don’t ask me to tell you our insurance deductible, or checking account rate. I know you won’t ask me this at a cocktail party because you’re kind and it’s boring. But, really, isn't part of being "chic" having my finger on the pulse of the family finances?

I know, this is not the most exciting way to spend a summer month, but I'm just doing it 10 minutes at a time. Ten minutes sounds like a pittance compared to all the time it takes to compile -- much less find -- all the important financial info. But since I have a very short attention span, and can't bear the thought of doing it for all the hours it requires, I'll chip away at it a little at a time. So far so good -- as I’ve gone through this process, I feel much more in control of our financial “story”. One of the biggest surprises has been how painless it has been. And a big perk has been how great it feels to be more in control and knowledgeable about our finances.

It is embarrassing to say that I have an MBA from Wharton but couldn’t tell you my mortgage rate; or that I have an easier time keeping the shopping list in my head than being able to tell you how much we’ve saved for college. The Financial Fact Sheet is my middle-aged answer to the high school cheat sheet – just instead of formulas, dates and names of emperors and rivers, it’s our family’s financial profile – savings, investments, debts, etc. – warts and all. Since it’s just 10 minutes a day, slow and steady is the default strategy. I’m starting with the easy stuff first – the info that I know I can put my hands on, or is less scary. “Part I” is just about collecting the information – no judgment, no guilt, no laboring over unanswered questions. Just collecting all the info in one place. So here is what I collected in 10 minutes a day last week…
 • Mortgage rate
 • Mortgage balance
 • Checking account interest rate
 • Checking account balance
 • Charitable donations last year
 • Auto insurance: premium, deductibles, coverages
 • College savings so far
 • Credit card points balance (so I can pick out something fun to use the points on!)

Logging daily spending (everything from coffee to coffee tables – both were on the list last week) A few things I learned along the way… It got easier and easier to jump in – Day 1 I dreaded ever deciding to take it on; by Day 7 I was tackling it in the morning so I felt like I accomplished something. As much as I dreaded looking for the info (what’s the website address? What the heck is my username and password? ) it wasn’t as hard as I’d feared and I usually found what I set out to find by the end of the 10 minutes. Each item I found raised questions about if I could do it better – is there a better mortgage rate? Should I increase the deductible on the auto insurance? Immediately, I’d panic, wondering, How will I find that out? Who should I call? But then reminded myself that for now it’s just gathering the info. I’m hoping that once the info is gathered, I’ll have the get-up-and-go to go to the next level of research. One day at a time, baby. If you are feeling at all “in the dark” about your own finances, I invite you to do this process with me. I believe it’s not a criticism of any of us that we don’t have this info at our fingertips – the more pressing matters of life get in the way. Those “urgent” things take precedence over the “important” ones. This is just a way to slowly but surely take back control – without dropping the ball on the other life matters. I go through a day by day, step by step, of my own process for building my Financial Fact Sheet in the blog at GiveMe10.info/blog; and I will give a weekly update here on Chic CEO. I hope we’ll share tips, pain and euphoria with each other here. We Chic CEO's are all in this together!

I'm Laura Brady Saade of GiveMe10.info -- Give Me 10 is all about finding fun, productive, meaningful ways to use the rare 10-minute gaps in the day's schedule...
I'm Laura Brady Saade of www.GiveMe10.info -- Give Me 10 is all about finding fun, productive, meaningful ways to use the rare 10-minute gaps in the day's schedule... - See more at: http://www.chic-ceo.com//content/create-financial-health-fact-sheet#stha...


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