You’ve heard the old saying: Failing to plan is planning to fail (if you haven’t you have now!)
Or how about this one? If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.
It’s all in the planning
We don’t get in a taxi without directions, we don’t start cooking without knowing what we are going to eat, and we don’t travel overseas without a destination in mind. We plan all day every day. Why? Because if we didn’t nothing would ever get done and we could end up anywhere.
Would you have a wedding without planning it first?
…..we’re talking flowers, dresses, food, drink, cars, musicians, photographer, who sits with whom and who needs to be on opposite ends of the room….. Brides and their mothers, aunties and grandmothers spend weeks and months planning a 5 hour party. There are contingency plans if the weather is inclement, there are different dietary requirements for different people and on and on it goes. I have never been married, nor have I gotten close to organising a wedding, but I’ve seen the planning stage in action with my sisters, friends and colleagues. I think I’ve got a handle on the complexities of it all.
Making it happen
Let’s say you’re like me and not seeing a wedding in your future. Not an issue. I am forever planning holidays. And what is the first thing I do when I get back from holidays? I plan the next one. Why? Because if I didn’t it would never happen. I’d sit back at the end of the year and I wouldn’t have gone anywhere.
We go on diets; we have a goal weight in mind. We have an eating plan. If we stick to the plan we lose weight. It’s that simple.
The same simple approach needs to be taken when planning our financial future. We need to have an end goal in mind so we can put the steps in place to help us achieve our goals.
Our parent planned to give us our education.
We plan to get our first job and we eventually plan our career.
We plan to have a family or get married or move in together or travel the world.
We plan so we can save the deposit for our first house.
We plan for the unexpected. We buy insurances to cover loss of income through illness or injury and an untimely death. We make sure our home and contents are cover and our cars are insured. We insure our health and our holidays.
We plan to pay down our debt and we need to work out how much money we need to save while we are working so we can live well in retirement.
These are very normal steps we all take through our adult life. If we have a financial plan in place we have a personal road map to help us get to where we want to go, without getting lost along the way.
If we want to feel good about ourselves, we need to do good things. If we want to feel healthy we need to take care of ourselves. If we want to feel in control of our finances we need to get organised. If we want to create and live the life we want, we need to put our own personal financial plan in place and make the necessary changes to turn our dreams into our reality. A personalised financial plan will show you what do you have to do to get to where you want to be.
Financial planning is about setting goals and enjoying the journey as well as the destination. It’s about taking pride in the fact that every day, little by little we are shaping our lifestyle and taking more and more control of our destiny.
Because planning is all about self realisation and empowerment, and nothing we can do will make us feel better and more secure than that.
If we don’t know what we want our lives to be, how are we ever going to get there?
Take some time out and answer these questions for yourself. Seriously think about it and be honest. These are very important!
The answers to these questions will be the start of your financial plan.
- What do you value most in life?
- What are your lifestyle plans for the next 3-5 years?
- Where would you like your life to be ten years from now?
- How would you like to live in retirement?
As you discover the answer to these questions, the next step is to work with someone who can develop a plan to help you achieve your dreams.