What does money mean to you?
You must be able to answer this question to help in planning your financial future. What do you want your money to do for you?
What one critical step in the financial planning process is relevant to people in all stages of their financial planning? What step is often not given adequate consideration?
Step one is knowing what money means to you. I find many people who have not spent sufficient time considering what they want their money to do for them.
Advertisers will give you lots of ideas. What do you think will happen if you leave it them? You might end up striving for things that aren’t really important to you.
Have you noticed that the media would have us define success as power and possessions? What if that doesn’t motivate you?
Make sure that you know what success really looks like for you. You are unique.
Here’s a couple of examples of how this works:
If you have a major purchase to make, you should start out taking time to become clear about what you want. If you are going to buy a vehicle, make a list of the features that really matter to you – Do you often have passengers? Or do you travel by yourself most of the time? Do you need to carry a lot of cargo? Or do you only need to carry a couple of bags of groceries. Know what you want to spend. Then when you see the model that suits you – you’ll know it and the decision will be easy!
You’ve seen the pictures of the couple on the sailboat or the gentleman on the golf course that promote retirement planning. What if those hold no appeal to you? Will you need the cash flow that someone sailing the world will need? How motivating is that picture of retirement for you if those are not your passions? You need your own picture. Your own picture will keep you motivated and on track for what you really need in retirement.
No matter what stage of life you are in right now, money plays an important role. Make sure that you are creating success based on your own definition. Knowing what you want your money to do for you is that critical first step.
Make a written plan: your decisions about money are too important to leave to chance.
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