It’s not about how much money you earn, but about what you do with it. Working diligently from 9 to 5 will not fetch you financial security, for that you need to focus on the planning that you do. What do you plan for?
Plan for your future and keep tracking the progress that you are making. If you are one of those who has only one financial advice, i.e., how to write a check, then this article will make you aware of the financial measures that one should take.
Yes, this financial planning term freaks you out, but if you watch out for these simple step by step guidance, you will know that these aren’t that complicated.
BE AWARE OF YOUR STATUS
Making a good financial plan is like structuring down your fitness regime. You need to figure out what exercises you are supposed to do or else you might end up hurting yourself. To start with, know where you are standing and what your current financial status is. You need to calculate your net worth; the leftover that you collect after your liabilities are subtracted from your assets. Now, what are these assets and liabilities? Liabilities are something that takes money away from you. Like for example, you have a ca; you need to pay for its gas, maintenance, etc. it’s not making you any money. So that’s a liability.
On the other hand, assets make money for you. Like if you have a small apartment and people are paying you to rent for it, that’s an asset. If you write a blog, an article that is generating revenue even after years you have created it also falls under the asset. If you need to be financially independent, you ought to have more assets than your liabilities. In a word, if your net worth is going up, congrats, you are making progress.
RESTRICT YOUR EXPENSES
Prepare a budget. This is the primary step to keep your cash flow in check. Sure you can spend on your liabilities like an iPhone or something, but for that, you need to have more money coming in than it goes out. Calculate you’re your expenses and try to stick to your budget.
Know what you wish to have in your life? What aspect is most important? Do you wish to retire at 45? Are you indebted with a huge loan that you need to pay off? Or plan to buy some property?
When you have a goal to accomplish, you will tend to spend less, and automatically that will increase your savings. Since your goals are not a static thing, allow your financial plan to be flexible.
S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant and Time-Bound.
Floating ideas do not make you any better of a financial planner. Be specific. Your attitude matters the most in your growth. Say “I will retire at the age of 50 with $2 million in my IRA” rather than saying vaguely, “I want to retire early”. Going for a particular number engraves in your mind the need to accomplish it, and that increases the intensity of your approach towards your goal.
Always keep your expenses in check. Create any system according to your convenience to track your expenses. Prepare a budget and try to follow it strictly.
Stop making hyperbolic plans in your mind. Daydreaming is not what is meant when we highlighted specificity. It’s a real world, and you have to be real while you create a target. It doesn’t need to be very easily achievable but yes definitely and achievable. If you are planning to save $100,000 in 3 years while you earn $25,000 a year, and have $50,000 in student loan. Sorry, you are daydreaming.
Finally, we come to the time limit. Infinity is not your range. You ought to have a time frame within which you want your plan to work.
The only thing certain about life is its uncertainty. So plan accordingly. Your life isn’t a static state. It moves, and it goes through a lot of big changes and changes that affect your finances like marriage, having kids etc. make your plans flexible enough so that it bends according to your needs.