You want to financially successful, but it’s hard. Everywhere you turn, you see people struggling to make it. Sure, there are a few examples of financial success out there, but they’re not sharing their secrets with you. You need to get out of debt, make more money, and decrease ongoing long-term expenses – but how? Here’s the secret: there is no secret.
Outline A Plan
Outline your true passions in life. Try to pick out several top values in your life that you could follow to the exclusion of everything else. Focusing on only a handful of things will make it a lot easier than trying to “take on the world.”
The more hobbies you have, the more directions you’re pulled in, the harder it will be. The more expensive it will be. The more frustrating it will be. An outline helps you focus on what you’re actually going to do with your life. If you’re unhappy with your current job, for example, your plan would outline and detail what it is you would like to do – what you would be happy doing until the day you died.
You need goals – lots of them. One goal might be paying off your current debts. Perhaps one of your goals is to eat healthier to reduce your odds of needing serious medical care in your old age.
Maybe you want to start a business to break free from your current job. What does all of this entail? What is your time frame for starting the business? How much money do you need? Where will you get it?
Goals help you stay focused on your top values, and they should push you closer and closer to them over time.
Write a Financial Plan
Writing out a financial plan is essential. It objectifies what you intend to do. A financial takes your outline and goals and creates a sort of “road map” out of them. A financial plan will include a budget, a savings and investment plan, and it could also include a net worth calculation. Keeping a diary of your monthly or weekly expenses is a good place to start. Identify your key items of expenditure and see if there are ways you could bring those expenses down. Pretty soon you will form a better picture in your mind about possible expenditures which are more the result of poor shopping habits. For instance, instead of going to the overpriced optometrist, who is next to the train station on your way to work, why not visit the Lenstore.co.uk online for contact lenses. You may be surprised how many everyday items you could get delivered to your home at a much cheaper rate than what you are used to paying.
Finally, your financial plan should make long-term predictions in regards to investing and saving money. Most of your values probably require money of some sort – both in the short and long-term. For example, if you want to open up a bicycle shop as a long-term goal, you’ll need financing.
You might even need an exit strategy and an emergency plan if something happens to you and you can’t run the company anymore. A financial plan will detail how much money you can raise on your own, what debt levels you can comfortably assume for the business, and at what age you might want to think about an emergency exist plan (and the financial assets you’ll need to pull off such a plan).
You’ve probably heard the saying “knowledge is power.” The reality is that acting on that knowledge is where the power is. If you take no action, you get no results – and this is a common mistake many people make. They get so immersed in their plan-making that they forget to implement it. Put one foot in front of the other, and don’t let your plan sit on the shelf collecting dust.
Sam Bagons is a retired bank teller. He now spends his days in his garden, but when the weather won’t allow that, He enjoys blogging online.