Financial Planning on Purpose
By Shawn Cook
There are thousands of advertisements bombarding us every single day. Perhaps the intent to purchase something was not there initially, but after you saw the commercial/social media advertisement, your desire for that item changed. The world around us is always trying to shape our desires. Unfortunately, that influence is not always for our benefit or what really matters to us.
When creating a financial plan, it is important to start at the beginning. Start by deciding what matters to you and your family. This could be anything from financial freedom, travel, home ownership, flexibility with your work schedule, or even more time with your loved ones. This step of acknowledging what is most important to oneself may seem trivial, but most families neglect to do it. The following three reasons will expound on how this essential step can change your financial journey.
- When you know what matters – you also know what doesn’t.
Life has a way of pushing us forward in a direction we didn’t choose, and one of the ways it does that is by small habitual movements towards spending money on things that do not matter to us. I have yet to meet a family that wants to spend more time in front of the TV; however, I can tell you that I have met many families that contribute more money into their daily couch entertainment than into their savings accounts.
2. When you know what matters – you know how to spend and save your money.
When you look at your budget based on what matters, decisions become painfully clear. Prioritizing what should be paid first and what can be cut from your family budget becomes much easier. This also applies to how you save your money. If financial freedom is important to you, having a savings bucket (for unplanned events) should be a part of your family’s priorities.
3. When you know what matters – you can make a plan that matters.
Life is about more than working and making money, but we would be amiss if we did not acknowledge how impactful those actions are in our life. Money is a fixed resource for most people, and how it is spent will dictate what we can and can’t accomplish in the future. If we can plan based on what matters to us, we are more likely to achieve our goals and change our habits. If we simply plan to make money and save money, it is less likely that we will make any real change in our lives.
The most important thing I can leave you with is the urgency to do something today. Change the outcome of your financial journey by deciding what matters. Simply start by making one change that is necessary to live the life that matters to you.