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While I’m confident that you are able to make sound financial decisions on your own, I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s so much easier to have an experienced money mentor on your side. A financial planner can also help you navigate the waves of life. For instance, are you planning on buying a house in the future? What about having a child? Sending that child to college? Or retiring someday? These life milestones become that much sweeter when you have planned for them and have the confidence to keep making smart financial decisions. In honor of Financial Planning month this October here are some pointers to help move you forward into 2015:
1. What did you accomplish over the summer and what do you feel good about? Did you experience any difficult situations?
Looking back at what you’ve done and how you’ve gotten there can be incredibly empowering and give you an idea of where you stand in your own grand scheme of things. Identify something you accomplished this summer that makes you feel gratified. For me, it would be opening up my new office in the SoDo district of Seattle because it signifies the reality of my dream coming true; helping couples move forward towards financial goals and being able to mentor them in my office space. Then, reflect on any difficult situations you may have experienced. Ask yourself how this affected you and if there was anything you could have done to possibly avoid it.
2. Take a moment to define or re-define your goals.
With the colder weather slowly creeping in, things start to get a little quieter, giving you the time to asses what you want out of life. Have you been talking about buying a house for the last year and not started saving for it? Perhaps you’d like to spend a week in the dead of winter somewhere tropical with palm trees. Defining your goals and then creating a plan of action is the key to making them happen.
3. What kind of support do you need to achieve your goals?
Do you need to hire an accountant to help you create a plan to pay off the last portion of taxes due for the year? Or maybe you need a financial advisor to help you maximize your retirement plan? Whatever the support that you need is, call upon them now so you won’t have to later.
4. What tools or systems help you to be successful financially?
If you want your money to go towards your priorities, you have to know where your money is going to ensure that is happening and have the facts at hand. I recommend that you use a tool that works for you to help you pay attention. Do you prefer a software system to keep track of your finances? Some great examples are www.mint.com, www.mvelopes.com, and www.YNAB.com. Or maybe you prefer a hardware system like an expense log, ledger book, or envelopes.
And speaking of that budget…
5. Sometimes, we learn most from our mistakes. What have you learned from yours?
I’m a firm believer that making mistakes leaves you the most room to grow. Acknowledge those mishaps and misfortunes and recognize what you may have missed or done wrong. Then learn from it and move on! Following these 5 pieces of wisdom will help prevent some financial mistakes from happening but there will be times when life just happens. And in that case, sometimes you just have to go with the flow, learn what you can and keep going!
Take some time for yourself to review what you accomplished this year, begin planning for 2015 and tie up those loose ends. And when you look over your answers to these questions; do you like what you see?
RELATED: How I Became A Financial Advisor
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