5 tasks in 5 minutes to improve 5 areas of your finances! (Part #2)

Hey there!

In this blog series, I am examining 5 tasks that you can complete in 5 minutes each to improve 5 different areas of your finances!

I know that many of you need help with reining in your spending and figuring out what to prioritize financially… but you struggle because you just don’t feel like you have the TIME.

I totally get it. Life is BUSY. Life costs MONEY.

BUT EVEN with small bits of continuous dedication, you can still move FORWARD. Even if you only have FIVE minutes every week… Those 5 minutes have a compounding effect.


let that sink in.

It’s time to find the facts.

If you want to be the boss of your budget, you can’t do it by using numbers you THINK are probably correct. They won’t be. Any time I ask someone who has never budgeted how much they THINK they spend on, say, groceries… they are usually way off the mark. You gotta look at the cold hard facts. Ideally, you would go through one year of financial statements (to catch any of those irregular costs), including any card that you spend money from… but for this 5 minute exercise, one month will do.

If you use cash to spend, this will be difficult to track if you don’t keep receipts. In my experience, it’s usually best to use a debit card for all your transactions, so that you have a record.

You can use an app for this, if you like. Some people find great success using Mint or YNAB. If you’d rather use paper, you can print off your statements and use a different coloured highlighter for each category.

I want you to categorize your spending into the following:

  • Housing costs (mortgage or rent, property taxes, municipal fees, garbage/recycling, hydro, heat, water, electricity, home insurance, content insurance. Anything directly related to your housing. You may choose to put internet and phone under here if you deem those necessary.)
  • Groceries (do not include anything you deem as above and beyond normal groceries, like luxury beauty products or additional items you buy that don’t fall into the groceries category. In fact, when I go to Costco, I separate my actual groceries from the things that would fall into other categories.)
  • Transportation (gas for the car, car payments, auto insurance, parking fees. Do not include maintenance.)
  • Insurance (Life, CI, DI insurance) You may choose to categorize home and auto insurance under this category instead. Whatever works for you!
  • House Maintenance & Car Maintenance
  • RRSP/RESP contributions
  • Debt Repayment installations
  • Registrations / Tuition / Childcare (kids sports activities, private school, before and after school care, daycare)
  • Lifestyle (anything that doesn’t fall into one of the above categories)

You can’t make a budget out of unicorns and rainbows… don’t pull your numbers out of fantasy land. Look at your financial statements.

Lindsay Plumb

Add up the total of all those categories. Are you surprised by anything?


  • If you don’t have a plan for your money, you are definitely going to OVERSPEND.
  • Every dollar you overspend is a dollar you are ROBBING from your future self and your goals.
  • The more accurate your spending analysis, the better you will be able to set up your future budgeting plan.

You can afford ANYTHING. But not EVERYTHING.

Lindsay Plumb

I would love for your to hop in to my free facebook group “Make Your Money Pretty” to share your results with other crazy-busy-moms like yourself! Why? Because then you’ll see that you are NOT alone and that other people have similar struggles. You will also get to learn solutions from other people in your shoes! Y’kno… solutions that actually might work for your crazy family lifestyle, rather than the complicated time-consuming strategies that many financial gurus expect you to learn.

Come join us!!!

Published by theprettymoneyblog

To all you women that are working too damn hard to feel like you’re just getting by paycheque to paycheque… To all you ladies that just don’t have the freaking time for financial jargon and complicated budget systems… ​To all you women struggling to feel in control of your money, ’cause you know you can rock it if you just had a simple map… I see you. I GET you. I'm a busy mom of two boys and a wife to my business partner. I love baseball, red wine, and our family trip to Mexico every year. After more than a decade as a licensed professional in the personal finance industry, I’ve figured out strategies that are simple, but have massive impact on your wallet. I’ve left out the jargon and fine print because I know you don't have time for that. The Pretty Money Club enrolls new members twice a year for the 8 week course that will turn your ugly budget into top model pretty money... and most of our members stay in the club after class is done to keep learning and stay in touch with all the women they built community with.

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