These days, productivity is all the rage. We want the best results from the least amount of time and work.

We want to create change most efficiently. I am all about it!

I know we are all busy going after our dreams and spending our time on fun and meaningful things.

Here are three things that will only take five minutes each, but will improve your financial wellness exponentially.

Fifteen minutes for unlimited financial results? Not too shabby!

Keep a Money Journal

A money journal is something I do myself and something I recommend for all of my clients.

Writing down what we spend not only makes us incredibly conscious about where our money is going, it helps us build an accurate budget.

I hear it over and over again, “I don’t spend extravagantly but my credit card bill is really high. Where is all my money going?”

A spending journal is the answer! You can keep it in your phone, a notebook or whatever works best for you.

Whatever you choose, make sure to carry it with you so you can take note of how you felt before and after you made the purchase, what the purchase was and how much it cost. You can tally your spending and get an idea of what it looks like over the course of a day, week and even month.

It’s powerful to know where you stand and get really conscious about where your hard-earned money is going.

Know What You Value

From the money journal, you will see where your money is going. The key is to make sure that you are using your money for things that are meaningful and important.

We all have a set amount of money to use at this point in time and financial bliss is using that money in the ways that make us the happiest.

Are you getting value from the daily snack you buy from the bodega? Could you spend that money in ways that would be more valuable or meaningful? This is where we really consider the opportunity cost of our spending.

When we use our money in one place, we can’t use it in another. It’s really powerful and fun to start maximizing each dollar we spend so that we are using it in ways that are most meaningful to us.

Take five minutes and figure out what your core values are. Make sure you are spending in line with those values. For example, if you really value your family, could you be spending on more trips to see them? If you really value travel, would you rather be saving up for an incredible two week vacation instead of buying lunch at work each day? Maximize your spending!

Set Up an Automatic Transfer to Your Savings

At this point, you know what you are spending and you’ve decided what spending you really value, now it’s time to save up for your most coveted goals.

If you value travel and have decided to bring lunch to work to save $5 a day, that’s $1,300 of savings a year that can go toward your dream vacation.

Instead of leaving the extra savings up to chance, you can have $5 a day, $25 a week or $100 a month transferred automatically from your checking account to your savings account for your travel fund. You will start to see the funding for your biggest goals and dreams come to fruition right before your eyes!


Ashley Feinstein Gerstley is a money coach and founder of the Fiscal Femme where she demystifies the world of money and personal finance. Get her exclusive how-to guide “30 Days to Financial Bliss“ – free for GoGirl Finance readers.