The three enemies of your financial goals.
Do you keep putting off making that budget , signing up for that 401k or calling the credit card companies to negotiate rates so you can get rid of your credit card debt faster!
Are you really good at coming up with a To-Do list, but horrible at checking things off?
Have you been thinking about reviewing your investment allocation and risk, or figuring out which retirement account is right for you?
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. I know that’s easier said than done – especially with the things you don’t particularly enjoy, like personal finance. We tend to put off what we don’t like or don’t want to do. Until you deal with your procrastination, you will not reach your financial goals.
My guess is that some of you will read this and say, “Yeah, I need to overcome that” and then keep reading while totally forgetting about the very thing you need to do. If you have to come back to this post at a later time so you can go call the credit card company or go review your personal financial budget, by all means do so!
So you want to save money, pay off bills and retire early. Ok, join the club. What does that look like for you though? We often don’t specify exactly what we want to accomplish. Writing down your goals, stating dollar amounts or percentages and setting dates for when you would like to achieve your goals is key to getting there.
Don’t fall prey to dealing with generalities. Get specific. What exactly do you want to accomplish? By when? Debt free? Great – write it down, put a date next to it and come up with a plan on how to get there. Retire early? Ok. When? Why? How much will you need. Get specific. Get detailed. Write it down. Now you’re getting closer to reaching those goals you have.
This one is hard because we all suffer from discontentment to a degree and oftentimes don’t even realize it. Do you find yourself dreaming about what you don’t have rather than counting your blessings and being thankful for what you do have?
Why is it that our stuff usually looks worn out and old, while other people’s looks nice and new. We want what other people have so often, don’t we? Maybe it’s just me.
Discontentment robs us of so much joy, energy and money! It’s a major roadblock to reaching our goals because we get consumed with buying more “things” rather than being content.
If you’re consumed with what you don’t have you may go into debt faster, easily spend more than you make and ultimately destroy your financial goals sooner. Discontentment is one of the greatest dangers to killing your financial goals. Contentment is a rare jewel found these days, but one worth fighting for!
Are you wandering financially?
The absence of direction make success very difficult in any endeavor. I remember in one of my business classes at UNC-A the professor explaining this point very well. He entered the class room thru a tennis ball into the student body and said would someone please throw this and hit the target for me. Of course you know what the response was. What is the target.
Financial planning is just that sitting down with a client that seems to be lost and wondering and developing a plan with specific targets that suits their person vision as to where they would like to be in 5 years etc. Whether you need a budget, a savings plan, a will, or a trust these things are a part of the planning process. A good example of some financial goals are listed below.
1. Scale back on credit cards – Living the “excess” lifestyle should change as we mature.
2. Own a home or have a plan to – Investing in your home is still a good idea – especially now.
3. Have career skills developed – Have a marketable skill in case of job changes.
4. Give money away – Establish a regular charitable giving plan.
5. Know yourself – Figure out what your priorities and values are and stick to them.
Know smart people – Knowing a good tax preparer, financial planner, attorney and insurance agent can save you untold amounts of money and stress.
No matter how much money you have a little or a lot everyone needs a plan let’s get started today.
Is someone cooking your goose?
How much risk should we be taking
Understanding risk and how it affects our financial lives is even more important today considering the world that we live in. How much risk should we be taking and what would be the benefit received from that risk are two important questions to ask.
Our philosophy here is what we call the goose story. If you had a goose that laid golden eggs how would you treat it. Most people would reply they would protect it at all cost. When it comes to their finances they seem to not practice this strategy. They seem to get the goose verses the eggs mixed up. Our philosophy at Successful Financial Strategies is to protect the goose at all cost. What is the goose you might ask? The goose is the amount of savings required to provide for you and your spouse’s personal well being for the remainder of your lives. With goose money rate of return is important but takes a back seat to wealth preservation. The eggs however are a different matter. Egg money is dollars that are in excess of what is needed to cover the basics. They are important but are not critical to our survival. Taking reasonable risk with these dollars to gain higher returns for the compensation for inflation or greater wealth passed to the next generation make some rational sense. Knowing that our bases are covered with our risk free dollars allows us to invest in risk environments with more peace of mind.