28 Day Financial Fitness Challenge – Week 1

6 min Read Published: 01 Jan 2022

Own it, Fix it, Grow it

Own it - Week1

Day 1 - Starting your Black Book

Task: Listen to the podcast below to learn more about creating your black book. Then download the free black book template below which you will complete over the next week
Key Takeaway: An important step in understanding and improving your finances is to collect and write down all of your important financial information in one place which we call a "Black Book". This exercise will give you the detailed knowledge required to improve your finances and to identify anything that requires attention. It will also prove invaluable to an executor or your partner if you were to die.
Time Required: 30 mins
Click to play:
Resources Black Book pdf version

Day 2 - Review your debt

Task: Complete the "Bank Accounts & Overdrafts", "Credit Cards & Unsecured Loans" and "Mortgages & Secured Loans" sections of the black box spreadsheet / pdf. This may require you to register for online access to some of your accounts if you have not already.
Key Takeaway: In order to reduce debt with the ultimate goal of becoming debt free it is essential that you take ownership of your debts by listing them all out so you can build a plan to pay them off in the most efficient way possible.
Time Required: 30 mins
Click to play:
Additional Reading: The impact of debt on your mental health and where to seek help

Day 3 - Check your credit report

Task: Check your credit score for free by clicking on the article in the additional reading section below
Key Takeaway: One task everyone should perform once a year is to check their personal credit report. It is important to check your credit report so that you can rectify any issues ahead of applying for credit or a mortgage. You can also check that you have not become the victim of identity fraud.
Time Required: 10 mins
Click to play:
Additional Reading: The best way to check your credit score for free

Day 4 - Review your savings, pensions & investments

Task: 1 - Complete the "Savings Accounts" and "Investments & Pensions" sections of the black box spreadsheet / pdf. This may require you to register for online access to some of your accounts if you have not already. Include any old or current workplace pensions.

2- Go to the government's pension tracing service to track down the details of any pensions you think you might have. The article in the additional reading section below provides a detailed explanation of how to use this service to trace old pensions.

3- Check the earliest age at which you can start receiving a State Pension, by using the official tool. This will likely be different to the age at which you can receive any personal or workplace pension benefits.

Key Takeaway: In order to make an effective retirement plan and becoming financially independent it is important that you get an overview of your assets by listing them out and tracing any "lost" pensions.
Time Required: 15 mins
Click to play:
Additional Reading: Pension finder: how to find old and lost pensions

Day 5 - Review your personal insurance

Task: Complete the "Personal Insurance" and "General Insurance" sections of the black box spreadsheet / pdf listing out all the personal and general insurances that you have including any work provided insurance benefits.
Key Takeaway: While a lot of people understand the importance of general insurance, such as home and car insurance, personal insurance such as life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection insurance are often overlooked. It is important that to list out all your insurance products that you currently have (including those provided by your employer) so that you can assess their suitability in the days to come.
Time Required: 15 mins
Click to play:
Additional Reading: What does life insurance cover?

Day 6 - Identify short, medium & long term goals

Task: Listen to the podcast segment below which outlines how to approach achieving financial goals. Then start to think about what your own financial goals for the near and long term may be. For example it may be becoming debt-free, building an emergency fund, saving a deposit for your first home or starting to invest.
Key Takeaway: Once you have decided what your financial goals are it is important to break them down into smaller achievable steps that can be used as your guide to help make sure you achieve long term goals.
Time Required: 10 mins
Click to play:

Day 7 - Rest day

Task: Use today to finish off any Week 1 tasks that you may not have had time to complete this week.

 

Now that you have completed Week 1 of the 28 Day Financial Fitness Challenge, make sure to continue with Week 2.

Leave a comment

  1. Hi Damien,

    I’ve been listening to your podcast for about 6 months. I have really enjoyed listening to the advice that you offer and the community that you have built. I often listen and re-listen to your podcast over the week and take action where necessary. Your podcast on creating a black book has been particularly brilliant and I have done it as part of my New Year financial resolution. I can’t believe how many accounts we have as a family and having all the information in one place is brilliant. In our family one us takes responsibility for our finances and having everything in one place has put my mind at rest as my wife and children know where to find it. Thank you once again.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. It is incredibly motivating for me and the team to read such feedback as it drives us forward to continue doing what we are doing at Money to the Masses.

      Best wishes

      Damien