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Personal Finance Planning – A Guide To Accomplishing Your Goals
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Personal Finance Planning – A Guide to Accomplishing Your Goals

Personal finance is as how you use your money to support yourself and/or your family. No one wants to be the person at the checkout counter who has their card declined and no cash in their pocket. Personal finance is about having a plan and following it. This does not necessarily have to be a budget but some sort of guidelines can help you get to where you want to go. The following is a list of steps you can follow to financial clarity.

Step 1. What do you have now – You are unable to move forward without knowing where you are right now. I can give you a map but if you don’t know where you are how are you going to get to where you want to be? What valued items do you have (Assets) and how much do you owe (Liabilities)? How much do you make (Cash Inflows) and how much goes out in bills (Cash Outflows)? You can do this on a monthly basis or more often.

Step 2. Set some goals – What are you saving for? A boat? A car? College for the kids? If you have some big goals then it is better to set some small goals as well. It can be very frustrating waiting years to reach a goal. You need to have some smaller successes to keep you motivated for the bigger ones. If you want to accomplish to goal sooner then maybe you need more income like another job. Be realistic when setting financial goals. Most of us will never own a Rolls Royce so this is not the best goal. If you are unable to get to a goal, you will become frustrated.

Step 3. Write the plan down – If you purchased some financial software, you will be able to automate your plan. However, you will understand it better if you write it down in a notebook. At least at first. If you understand how the financial software works then you will better be able to know where you are and how you are going to get there. Having a plan in the first place is for understanding, right?

Step 4. Do it. If you decided to skip the morning coffee so you can save a little extra each day towards your goals then that is what you should do. Your friends should understand that you have other things to do with your money. Gourmet coffee places are too expensive anyway. If you must have your coffee, I would recommend finding a way to do it yourself. Doing things yourself can save you money on anything so I encourage you to make use of your talents.

Step 5. How are you doing? This is something you should check on a regular basis. You figured out where you were. You picked your destination. You drew out the path to get there. You started on your journey. Periodically, you should check to make sure you didn’t take a wrong turn or are straying off the path. The more often you check your progress, the quicker you can find out if a change needs to be made.

This plan is a set of guidelines for you to follow to financial clarity. Personal finance is about pulling out the map, figuring out where you are, picking a destination, how you are going to get there, and then doing it. There are a number of advisors that would charge you big money to tell you what you already know. Most people would rather be lost or put their head in the sand but having a plan will keep your financial anxiety down. It is not what you have but how you use it.


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