Life Changes Fast – Can Your Financial Plan Pivot?
Life is nothing if not changeable. It might be nice if everything went exactly as planned, but where would be the fun in that? Sometimes the best things in life are the surprises that come out of nowhere. Of course, there will also be times when life knocks you down.
The point is, you need to plan not only for the future you have in mind, but also the life changes you might not necessarily anticipate. You need a financial plan that’s designed to meet your needs, but also flexible enough to pivot when your plans change.
Maybe you want a pathway to earning a degree so you can improve your opportunities to find a fulfilling occupation and increase earning potential. Or maybe you’re already thinking ahead to a college education for kids, or just wondering how you can best set yourself up to have a family. Perhaps you want to start socking money away to buy a house, start a business, or explore investments and retirement accounts.
We all have different goals, and the right financial plan can help us to meet them. It can also help us to get through the tough times, such as job loss or the loss of a loved one. The question is, how can you set up a personalized, flexible financial plan that will pivot with your changing needs? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Start with a Budget
If you want to get on track to meet financial goals and plan for the unexpected in life, the first step is creating a working budget that lets you monitor and manage your money. You might not think you need a budget for long-term financial planning, but it’s sort of like writing a college essay without an outline.
If you don’t have the proper foundations in place, you’re likely to make some serious missteps along the way. When you start tracking spending, you might be truly shocked to discover how much you spend on Starbucks or online shopping. If you want the greatest control over your money, awareness of earnings and expenses is essential.
Address Existing Debt
Whether you’re paying off school loans, paying down a mortgage, or dealing with credit card debt, you need a plan to pay it off that will get you to your financial goals as fast as possible. There are several possible strategies to pursue, from setting aside a specific amount over minimum payments to apply each month, to cutting up your credit cards and transferring your balance to a 0% APR card to give you a head start on eliminating bad debt, just for example. Planning and discipline are the name of the game.
Start Saving and Investing
We all want to work smarter, not harder, and this means committing to setting some of your money aside to save for the future, including a rainy-day fund for unexpected costs, as well as a portion for long-term investments like safe retirement accounts and a diverse investment portfolio that could deliver greater returns over the short-term.
Partner with Professionals
If you’re not even sure what your options are when it comes to financial planning, much less how to choose the best options for your needs and properly manage your finances, you needn’t fret. Partnering with a knowledgeable, experienced, and attentive financial planning service will connect you to the resources, services, and advice you need to make wise financial decisions now and in the future.
If you’re seeking help with financial planning, money management, budgeting, and more, the experts at Women’s Financial Network have the resources and capabilities to help you every step of the way.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.