I came to financial planning as a profession in my 40’s, having made a mid-life transition from retail management. I worked in both department stores and specialty retail and generally enjoyed the work. I always enjoyed Christmas in the stores – the music, the new fragrances, the decorations, and generally upbeat anticipatory atmosphere.
Christmas time was grueling, however. The amount of merchandise that comes into a store through its loading dock, and then out the doors in the customers’ shopping bags, is enormous. It is very physical work, in that all that merchandise needs to be unpacked, displayed, and stocked around the store. The associates who wait on you generally have competing priorities imposed upon them: great customer service, while getting the new merchandise out of the bins and on the racks.
No matter where I worked, at 6 PM on December 24th, there were always customers who needed to make last-minute...
Many of you have heard the old adage, If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Your financial planning begins with your cash flow planning – your budget, in other words. This spending plan keeps you focused on working toward achieving your financial goals. The order of operations is this:
Establish and quantify financial goals
Think this through carefully: How much do I need in my emergency fund? How much debt do I have to repay? How much should I accumulate in my retirement accounts?
Your budget – write down income and expenses
Here is where the budget comes into play. Use the budget as your roadmap to make sure you achieve your goals. Empirically I can tell you: after just 3 months of budgeting, 8 out of 10 people say they feel more in control of their money. We have a great budget template that we’d be glad to share with you. Send an email to [email protected] with the request and we’ll send it out.
Budget for the year
The budget should run out a full...