Law School
Personal Finance

GTD and Your Finances: The Weekly Money Review

I’m a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. It’s helped me get more out of my time than any other time management system I’ve used. A key element for the system to work is the weekly review. During a weekly review you should:

  • Pull out all loose papers, receipts, post-its, etc., and put in your inbox. Process your inbox.
  • Process your notes.
  • Review previous and upcoming calendar data to trigger next actions.
  • Mind dump – empty your head of everything not already in the system. Process it as you would your inbox.
  • Review next-action lists, project lists, waiting-on list, and someday/maybe list.
  • Review your goals.

The idea is to clear your head of all the stuff going on in your life, so you don’t have to worry about it.

While the weekly review is an awesome time management tool, it can also be an amazing personal finance tool. By doing a weekly review of your personal finances, you’re more likely to maintain your budget and accomplish your personal finance goals. A suggested personal finance weekly review would consist of:

  • Pulling together all receipts, bills, ect collected from purchases during the week
  • Processing those receipts, bills, ect in your personal finance tracker
  • Reviewing total income and expenses during the week.
  • Review investments and adjust them if needed.
  • Review upcoming bills and expenses to trigger next actions (i.e. paying the bill)
  • Mind dump- think of the things you’ve been thinking about when it comes to your finances. Is there an investment you’re looking in to? Do you want to set up an automatic savings deposit? Do you need to talk to your kids about spending? Write it all out.
  • Use your mind dump to come up with your next actions and project lists. If you wrote down set up automatic safety deposit, turn that into a project, with the first action being find number to bank so you can call them.
  • Review your financial goals. Reviewing goals consistently is key if you want to accomplish them.

You’re weekly review doesn’t have to take that long. If you keep track of your spending daily, you’ll have fewer receipts to process. If you’re not including this in your weekly planning start this week. You’ll see an amazing increase in the sense of control over your finances.