Developing a Financial Plan

Developing Your Financial Plan.

Do you have GOALS you’d like to achieve in the next year, 5 years, 10 years? Will you need money to accomplish these goals? If yes, then you’ll need a Financial Plan.

A Financial Plan will help you organize your spending, so you have less stress and more savings success.
You start with setting goals because they will inspire you to complete the next steps.

Steps to start managing your money with a budget.

Creating a BUDGET will keep you focused on how much money you have, where it needs to go, and how much, if any, is left over.

Your expenses should be less than your total income.
If your income is not enough to cover your expenses, adjust your budget (and your spending) by deciding which expenses can be reduced.
Always Pay Yourself by adding Savings to your budget and save whatever you don’t need to spend.

You can create your budget on a spreadsheet.

Or, you can download apps for free like Mint or Wally What does a budgeting app do for me?

An app can help you manage your money in real time and help you make sure that your money goes to the things you need first.
You can also link your banks, bills and cards to check balances and pay bills.

Tips for decreasing your expenses:

Reduce expenditures on items you WANT vs NEED
Put off expenditures on credit cards or other loans that will drive up debt. Reduce VARIABLE EXPENSES, gasoline electricity.
Seek credit counseling to consolidate debt and reduce monthly payments.

Remember to Add Savings to you Budget.

Save first for an EMERGENCY FUND then save to achieve your goals.

What do you want your life to look like in 5, 10 or 20 years? Do you want to own a car or a house? Do you want to attend college or upgrade your skills? Are kids in the picture? Having GOALS will inspire you to SAVE.

Tips for Saving:
Try to live below your means, i.e. spend less than you earn.
Make your own coffee.
Bring lunch.
Never buy water.
Take a list to the supermarket and stick to it.
Look for deals.
Spend only on items you care about.
Turn off the lights, unplug your gadgets, take public transportation or bike.
Replace cable with antenna TV; cut your cell phone expense.

Resources to practice your budgeting skills.

Options for tracking and managing your spending – by Better Money Habits®
Ways to save money on your monthly bills – by Better Money Habits®
How keeping a budget will help you pay your bills each month