You’ve probably heard of business owners and executives developing a business plan to help them solidify and steer their long-term strategy, but did you know that making a personal financial plan is also a great method to stay on track with your long-term goals?
When you’re under pressure to say yes to friends on a night out or tempted to blow your budget in a moment of excitement, keeping your goals in front of you might be difficult. Having a plan to return to can help you remember the future you want to build for yourself and your family and ensure you stay on track.
The joys of various streams of income and how to construct your own personal financial plan are discussed in this week’s episode of the wealthy & REGULAR podcast.
Sitting down in front of a blank sheet of paper to begin a financial plan can be scary.
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Make time to sit and think about your future, financial objectives, and connection with money and finances, as we’ve addressed previously. This moment of calm thought is necessary for seeing things clearly and creating the life you desire for yourself, not just what society says is important.
Starting with a mission statement is a good place to start.
It may seem absurd to create a personal goal statement, but there’s a reason companies place it at the beginning of their executive summaries. In one or two short words, mission statements define and solidify your own views.
You now have a simple reference point for the rest of your financial strategy. A mission statement also enables you to decide whether an idea or opportunity aligns with your goals and to create boundaries with yourself and others if they do not.
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To help you write your mission statement, consider the following questions and ideas:
What would give me a sense of security?
For my family and me, how much is enough?
What kind of person do I want to be?
For me, what does ‘the best life’ entail?
What steps must I take to become that person?
Examine your financial history.
If you’re having problems answering some of these questions, go back through your financial history and identify the major themes from the past, as well as the language you used to imagine your future.
Make Your Case in Writing.
Begin writing your mission statement once you have the language from your story and some general responses to the questions above.
The most common structure for mission statements is declarative phrases that identify the person (or organization) involved, the goals you’re working toward, and the activities you’re doing to achieve those goals, but you can use whichever format seems most relevant to you.
If you used terms like abundance, security, or tranquil in your money story, for example, your mission statement would be something like this:
The financial purpose is to create a tranquil household by living in abundance and financial security. We’ll accomplish this by paying off debt, putting 20% of our salary into investment accounts each year, and talking freely about any financial issues or concerns we have.
It may take some time to dig down to the crucial parts you want to include in your financial plan, but your mission statement is at the heart of it. Allow yourself a few days or weeks to consider and tweak the initial statement to match your needs.
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Make a List of Your Financial Objectives.
Create goals and an action plan to attain them once you have your mission statement. Break each item down into a list of practical measures that will help you bridge the gap between simply wanting to have a secure financial future and actually completing the tasks required.
Using our purpose statement as a guide, the following goals may be set:
- I am financially secure and have a lot of money.
- When my friends and relatives are in need, I try to assist them.
- I go over the world and try new things.
- I shall be financially self-sufficient.
- Following that, we develop an action plan that looks like this:
The Goal is to Feel Financially Secure.
Save 20% of your gross income as a top priority.
Any bonuses or raises you receive this year should be put into your brokerage account.
Contribute more to each monthly mortgage payment.
Pay off credit cards and other debts quickly.
The Goal is to Travel.
- Setting up a separate saving account just for your travel funds.
- Put together a budget for each vacation you plan to go on.
- Instead of using a credit card, have the money in savings before booking a trip.
Setting lofty goals may appear to be a wonderful idea, but keep in mind that they should be realistic and adaptable. Setting lofty objectives is admirable, but if you’re continually berating yourself for falling short, take a step back and include some flexibility into your strategy.
Set Deadlines and Benchmarks for Yourself.
After you’ve outlined your objectives, give each one a deadline and put it on your calendar. Add check-in reminders and appointments so you can return to and evaluate your mission statement and goals on a regular basis.
Give yourself a deadline to have the complete cost of the trip in your savings account before you start buying tickets and hotel stays if your goal is more of a general idea, such as paying for a vacation in full.
Having a deadline helps to solidify these objectives and keeps you on track when peer pressure or diversions arise.
Continue to Evaluate and Adapt.
Because no one knows what will happen in five years, our financial strategies must change and evolve with us.
Make an appointment with yourself to review your financial plan every six months to a year to ensure that the objectives you set are still achievable. Examine your progress and congratulate yourself on any milestones or other achievements.
Returning to your financial plan can help you maintain it in front of your mind and say no to items that don’t serve you.
Keep in mind that you’re doing this to bring your mission statement to life and that financial peace and security are worth some sacrifice and long-term planning.