January. A time for new goals and resolutions to be set and obtained. If you are anything like me, I have big time aspirations to accomplish many things. But often times, if I’m not intentional those ideas get pushed to the wayside when other pressing matters come to the surface. Thus, I decided to provide steps to accomplish 5 Days to Your Best Finances Ever!
The month of January in the financial world is know as a time for “Financial Fitness”. Similar to hiring a personal trainer to help you get fit, my goal is to take a similar approach and help you become fit financially!
I have developed this simple process along with some great resources to help jumpstart your January financial fitness journey. And the best part is that it will only take you 5 days to do so. Ready, set, here we go!
This exercise will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes of your time. There are two parts to complete:
1. Understand Your Current Financial Situation. This is crucial to your success. In order to make improvements and set goals you must begin with understanding where you’re at right now.
Action: Open Personal Worth Spreadsheet and list all the items that you own vs. what you owe. I have inputted some examples to get you started. Simply change to reflect your personal situation.
2. Understand Your Spending Plan. Without this knowledge you’re predisposed to ruining any sort of plan you think you may have. Everyone should KNOW in detail what you’re spending your money on.
Action: Complete the spending worksheet here. If you don’t have exact numbers an estimation will suffice. Try not to over think and move quickly. The purpose is to garner a snapshot of your current situation.
Day One Resource: Achieving Budget Breakthrough
This exercise will take approximately 15-20 minutes of your time.
1. Understanding the Enemy of Your Growth. Debt. Now that you have listed all your the things that are owed on your Personal Worth Spreadsheet above, you can knock this out in 15 minutes.
Action: Create an account at Ready for Zero. This free, online resource is designed to help you manage and reduce your debt. Once you enter your pertinant information, Ready for Zero will advise you on the fastest way to pay off your debt. Give it a try! I have and love it.
Time frame: 15 Minutes.
1. Collect and Compile Your Financial Data. It’s likely that you have financial accounts from different institutions. In the financial industry when we want to monitor a clients entire financial picture as a whole we call the process aggregation. Aggregation is beneficial to the client so that strategies can be implemented that could positivity impact the whole pie, rather than a few slices.
Action: Subscribe to BlueLeaf. Test out this free aggregation resource by utilizing our online portal. You can take a quick tour to see all the features and benefits it has to offer.
Day Three Resource: BlueLeaf Video Demo
Time frame: 30 minutes
1. Retirement Calculator. We all know that saving for retirement is important, right? Except, few actually plan far enough in advance for this major end-of-life event. Why not? Because planning for retirement can be difficult. I’ve learned to help people “see time”, in my opinion if you can find a way to see yourself now and link it to your retired self by looking ahead you’ll be able to grasp the picture.
Action: Use this visual, “The Life of a Typical American”. This will help you see in increments of weeks where your cash goes during certain times of your life. You can also see the importance of saving enough during the years colored in red which are retirement.
Time frame: 20 minutes
1. Protect Your Belongings and Beloved. Be sure you have a will, POA and HCA in place. If you already have these review them to be sure your wishes are still in order.
Action: If your wishes are not up to date or if you have not reviewed your documents within five years or more, set up a visit with your attorney. At this time, review and be certain you understand the flow of how your estate will be distributed.
Ever wonder if you should have a Revocable Living trust? Read more here.
Once you have completed the 5 Days to Your Best Finances we recommend you have a trusted financial professional assist you. You can learn more here.