Have you felt a nagging desire to get your finances in order for the past few years? Have you made resolutions every New Year, only to put them on the back burner when life happens? Many of us have done so, and to help you to make sure that this is FINALLY the year you make it happen, I have put together 5 Ways to Make 2016 the Year You Finally Get Your Finances in Order:
1. Schedule a meeting with your spouse (or alone or with a friend if you're not partnered) to discuss and write down your goals.
The first step to achieving your goals is to set them and organize them. If you have a spouse, you are not the only decision-maker, so it's important to get your spouse on the same page in order to get started. I recommend setting a specific time to sit down together without kids and hash these things out. If you're not partnered or married, set a meeting up with yourself or a friend to help you to get started.
2. Make sure you have covered the Key 5 Financial Areas.
To make sure that you have a financially healthy family, remember PRICE: Protection,Retirement Savings, Investment, College Savings, Emergency Savings. These five elements are the PRICE of financial health. Make sure that you have goals in all of these areas. Protection is important because you want to make sure your assets always stay in your hands and that you always have the income you need to care for your family. Retirement Savings is important because there will come a day when you can't work anymore and you don't want to be living in destitution. Investment is important because you have the opportunity to see your wealth grow. College Savings is important because financial debt is a huge burden for college graduates entering the workforce. Emergency Savings is important because you just never know when you'll be laid off, injured, or have some sort of expensive emergency. Paying attention to PRICE will ensure that your family is financially healthy.
3. Protect your financial goals first.
Your financial goals are at risk of being devastated if you don't plan for incapacity, injury, or death. Most families are just one medical crisis away from bankruptcy. Planning now could mean the difference between financial devastation and financial prosperity for your family. The very first thing that you should do to keep your goals safe is to talk with an estate planning attorney. The attorney should be able to help you with planning for your incapacity, injury, and death, as well as recommending a financial advisor to meet with who can walk you through disability and life insurance.
4. Hold yourself accountable.
There are a few ways to make sure that you get your goals accomplished, such as telling your friends and family about your goals, setting mini-deadlines for yourself on your calendar, and getting together with a group of similarly goal-oriented friends to hold one another accountable. Make sure that you have some way of making sure that you don't let another year go by without reaching your goals.
5. Celebrate your successes.
Each time you meet one of your goals, it's important to celebrate that. I don't mean that you have to spend a bunch of money to celebrate, but just make sure to acknowledge it in some way. If it's a big goal that you've reached, then by all means, have a nice dinner to celebrate it. You can also celebrate just by telling someone that supports you how you made a goal and reached it. The continued support you feel from your community will encourage you to keep going.
If you keep these 5 ideas in mind when you're setting out to achieve your financial goals, you'll be setting yourself up for success! Good luck to you and have a Happy New Year!
To your family's health & prosperity,
P.S. Want to get started on the most important planning you'll ever do for your family? Give our office a call at (503) 235-5150 to get started. You'll be glad you did.