A proper financial plan provides you with a snapshot of where you are today – in terms of assets and liabilities, and your current cash flow.
It also outlines your short, medium, and long-term goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house or taking a dream vacation.
Finally, a well crafted financial plan should include a number of “must do” items, such as you must start contributing to your IRA or you must pay off your Visa bill.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking “If only I could stay out of the mall, I could get my finances under control.”
Staying out of the mall may be necessary for you die-hard shoppers who need to change your surroundings and avoid too much temptation.
But getting your finances in order is not necessarily, and certainly not exclusively, about will power.
It’s about creating such an awesome plan of action that you don’t want to deviate from it because you can clearly see all the benefits of having a financially sound household.
After all, which of the following circumstances is most appealing?
Scenario #1, in which you and your spouse are always bickering about money and you have to live paycheck to paycheck, or Scenario #2, in which you’ve lived within your means, and your money squabbles all but disappear?
When you need motivation, remember that by sticking to your resolutions, especially your newly-created financial plan, you’ll not only save yourself big bucks, you’ll ultimately have financial freedom, and far less worries and stress about money.
Tip: Make this money resolution: “Before I buy something, I will think about why I’m spending. I will spend money only for the right reasons.”