My youngest child has his driving permit. It now falls upon me to ensure that he is prepared for that grand right of passage - earning his driver's license. I have done this twice before, so I must say that it gets a little easier not to panic in the passenger seat. It helps that this son is cautious and a quick learner.
He also asks good questions.
The other day, he was a passenger and I was driving. As we approached a right turn, I engaged the turn signal with my left hand, while at the same time, checking my mirrors and beginning to turn the steering wheel. My son asked, "How do you learn how to do all of those things at once?" I had to think for a moment and replied that over time, with practice, it just becomes automatic.
It is the same with personal finance or any other thing you want to be good at. Over time, with practice it becomes automatic.
In the beginning, many aspects of personal finance can seem difficult, time consuming and even overwhelming. Monitoring spending, creating budgets, paying bills, planning for savings, reviewing employee benefits, these tasks have a tendency to fall to the bottom of the priority list. But if we keep with it, develop the habit of paying attention and set aside regular times to tend to our financial lives, this too can come to feel easy, like we have always been good at it.
So as yourself some good questions. Am I putting my personal finances into proper focus? Am I delaying important financial decisions because I do not want to think about money? Have I developed good money habits for myself and my family? Depending upon your answers to these questions it might be time to pull out the financial driver's manual and get in some practice.
Jennipher Lommen is a Certified Financial Planner TM and Enrolled Agent who offers comprehensive financial planning and tax advice to clients in Santa Cruz, CA and beyond.