It’s Not Just Your Mind, Body & Soul

For many of us, our overall state of well-being is very much connected to our financial affairs

me, and this “prescription” may work well for you, too. Each step is important, and all must be coordinated for you to succeed.

Step 1
Assess your current financial health. What is personal financial planning? It is a process, not a product. It is an organized system of developing strategies for using your financial resources to achieve both short- and long-term goals. Evaluating your current financial situation is the first step in developing any financial plan.

Step 2
Know how much you spend. Sometimes we are unable to save because we are unaware of how much we spend. When I started working with a financial advisor, I filled out a Monthly Family Expense Budget. I was surprised to realize that my weekly tennis lessons were costing me $2,600 per year. I took the time to find a tennis partner, reduced my lessons to one per week, and saved $1,300.

Step 3
Establish your financial goals. I advise you to establish financial goals for yourself, and, if applicable, your family. A financial goal is how you want your finances to look. Where do you want to be in five years? How about 10 years? Or 20? Having a clear goal and the willingness to work hard can make it happen. If you can imagine and plan it, you can achieve it. Setting specific goals also helps you to determine the amount of money you need to meet each goal. [Then] you can estimate a time frame within which each goal will be realized.

Step 4
Learn saving skills. I often hear women say, “There is no extra money” or “We don’t have enough money.” These same people spend $50 or more a week on their families at the movie theater. Yes, we are entitled to a night of enjoyment now and then. If this family went to the movies every other week, they could save $100 a month. You can set a goo
d example for the children by proving that family outings do not have to cost an arm and a leg. Further, if you deposited a portion of the savings into college funds for your children, you just might teach them a few lessons in frugality. Resourceful family planning can yield savings that ensure a more comfortable future, and a healthier lifestyle with less worry and stress.

Step 5
Create a comprehensive savings plan. Once you create a financial plan, you will know what you need to do and when you need to do it. You will better understand the financial decisions you need to make and the impact of these decisions on your future financial freedom. Having a financial plan in place helps to eliminate excess stress and worry. There is no better time than now to work on financial balance in your life.
Creating a financial plan may sound difficult, but with clear goals you will be well on your way. Your savings plan should include three components:

  • A savings account balance three to six times your monthly family expense budget.
  • Personal savings and investments through
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