By now, you’ve had a lot of practice planning out a lot of things in your life, whether it be your course schedule in college, a dinner party for your friends, or your first business plan. However big or small, you have constructed a “roadmap” to navigate the way toward your goals.
This is the basic concept behind the value of financial planning: Identify your goals and map out specific actions to get there.
While financial plans are generally composed of components from money management, investing, tax planning, and estate planning, each are weighted differently depending on your stage in life. Most importantly, they are prioritized by your own unique needs, desires and values.
At WealthJar, our goal is to help you navigate your way toward a successful financial future. Here are a few steps to get you heading in the right direction.
1. Determine your current financial situation
As entrepreneurs, we are always trying to progress, using every minute to move forward in business, in our favorite sport or activity – in life. But every so often, it’s important to take a step back and analyze just how far we’ve come.
Enjoy a moment of reflection and see where you are right now, financially and emotionally. This means calculating your personal and professional income, current debt, personal overhead (living expenses) and any savings you may have already accumulated.
2. Develop a clear set of goals
Once you have taken your financial temperature, sit down and write out your goals for the future. This may seem simple, but it could be a complicated moment of introspection that forces you to articulate what’s really important to you.
Is it having more free time? Traveling to destinations on your bucket list? Spending more time with your family? Expanding your business? Building your dream house? Saving for a comfortable retirement? Or simply gaining financial freedom sooner? Your goals should drive your savings and investing. The more specific and realistic your goals are, the easier it will be for you to put off what you think you want today for what you know you want in the future.
Your life is composed of many moving pieces and it is normal to have multiple goals. At WealthJar, we can help you compartmentalize and optimize your goals by setting up an account dedicated to each one.
But what if your introspection reveals that you don’t want to invest for the long term, at least not yet. That’s fine too. The crucial concept is that you know what you want, and you have a plan to get there. Knowing what you want sounds simple, but it’s important that your goals are specific. If your goals are overly broad, it will be hard to conceptualize and even harder to make sacrifices for them. Make sure your goals are measurable (indicate a specific sum), realistic, and actionable within a specific time frame.
3. Design a course of action
For each goal, create a game plan. Better yet, create alternate game plans for each goal.
The path to success isn’t always black and white, and as an entrepreneur you know that there is often more than one way to get somewhere. Put on your creative thinking cap and think about the different ways you could achieve each one of your goals. Once you have these down on paper, choose the course of action that best aligns with your values.
4. Implement your action plan
Finally, implement your game plan. This may mean putting away that first $500 toward one of your goals, opening an investment account with us here at Wealthjar, or talking to a friend about expanding your side business. Whichever course of action is right for you, the first step is often the hardest.
Need help? Your WealthJar advisor can guide you toward financial empowerment by helping you set up a flexible framework that can be adjusted when life presents opportunities, as well as challenges.