Are you sure you're on the right financial track?

Is your financial life running smoothly?

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As I type this, two blokes are trying to fix my home air conditioning.

Now, thankfully, it's a pretty wet summer, and the temperatures at my place have been mild this year.

So there's that.

But for the past week or so, we've been without cooling or heating.

Yes, definitely a first world problem, so no complaints.

And I'm less temperature-sensitive than many, perhaps most.

Still, it's better when the aircon works, and not just because the family is happier.

I don't yet know the full extent of the problem, but – and call me a genius if you want – I did notice that part of the problem was that one of the ducts had a gaping hole in it.

I know… Sherlock Holmes eat your heart out.

And yet, when I got the blokes out to fix it, I also asked them to check the system over closely, because I'm not convinced that it was working properly, even when the ducting was okay.

I'd offer to update you when I know more… but I'm going to guess that few of you are actually interested.

Fair enough.

In fact, I don't much care, either… as long as it works.

But I'm going to suggest that such a hands-off approach probably isn't great.

Waiting until your car engine seizes before getting a service is an expensive automotive habit.

Waiting for the heart attack before getting a little exercise and improving your diet is, well, suboptimal.

And if you're one of those people who waits for the 'low fuel' light to come on before looking for a servo… Well, I hope that habit doesn't get you in trouble if you're out of the city at the time!

An ounce of prevention, as they say, is worth a pound of cure. (Or, in metric terms, a gram and a kilogram, respectively… but imperial just does it better, for some reason.)

Which reminds me – as most things tend to, eventually – of investing.

To be clear, I generally prefer the 'set and forget' style of investing.

Too much attention and activity will, for most people, most of the time, cause more problems than it solves.

If you can't leave well enough alone, how do you expect compounding to help you?

Sure you 'can't go broke taking a profit'… but – as a budding vegetable gardener – you wouldn't pull the tomato plant out after the first fruit ripens, either.

Which isn't to say that you should just ignore your portfolio, though.

Or the rest of your financial life.

How long since you really reviewed your portfolio, to make sure you were happy with the companies you owned?

No, not whether the share price had gone up recently.

No, not whether other people agreed with you.

But whether your expectations for the company's future were still intact.

How long has it been since you reviewed how much you were saving and spending?

When did you last check to see if you could #getabetterrate on your mortgage?

Your mobile phone? Internet?

When did you last compare insurance providers for your car? Home? Contents?

They are the financial equivalent of getting the car serviced.

Sure, you can get away with it, for a while.

And sure, your finances might not come to a shuddering, permanent, halt without regular attention.

But isn't it likely that you'll be in a better place if you give them a little care and attention?

Maybe you can save a few bucks on your internet. Perhaps you'll get 0.1% or 0.2% off your mortgage rate. And you might find that a little attention on where you spend your money will help you save a little more, too.

Add that up, then invest it well, and you'll be surprised what you might be able to amass over a decent amount of time. Invest it well, and that result could be multiples of what you save.

Turns out, in the time I've taken to write this, we have a verdict on my aircon.

4 pressure switches and the printed circuit board need replacing. And the drain is blocked.

Hopefully, that'll give me a better outcome, temperature-wise, and probably save me a few bob in electricity and gas as a result.

How's your aircon?

But, more importantly, how efficiently is your financial life running?

Why not take 15 minutes to see if you could get things running more smoothly.

After all, the improvements in my aircon will be welcome.

But they won't get better and better, over time.

Your financial position, however – if you invest the savings – could well get better and better, over time, thanks to the wonders of compounding.

Tomorrow will be better, if I can get the aircon fixed.

But the benefits of fine-tuning my financial life will be felt for years and decades to come.

I dare say the same will be true for you. And isn't that worth a little effort?

I think so.

Fool on!

Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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