If you’re wondering how to plan your finances for life, then knowing just a few simple principles is going to make all the difference in your chances of success.
How to plan finances for life doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider your goals and the actions you would need to take to reach them. What role will money play in reaching them and what additional resources do you need to create to make it possible? Then execute your plan every day. Review and revise.
Managing your money alongside your life can be much easier if you have a clear vision in place, continue using a few strategies, and simple day-to-day tactics to make it happen.
There’s no need to hunt for or get involved in complicated or get rich, easy schemes when just a few simple steps will set you on the path to wealth.
The planning process is going to be much more important than the plan.
Read on to hear how planning your finances and life will lead to inevitable wealth.
Define your financial philosophy
Like many things in life, you need a few guiding principles to help you make good choices at the right time.
If you have no guiding principles, you are a bit like a bought with no rudder; you will drift all over the place.
Your principles will be what keeps you on track, away from distractions and help you avoid disaster.
Some sound financial principles might include
- Paying yourself first
- Keeping your costs low
- Living within you means
- Thinking long term
- Avoiding debt – especially expensive debt
- Regular savings and investing
- Continually improving your financial literacy
- Studying wealth-building habits = strengthening your ability to earn and keep more of your money.
- Expect the unexpected so have an emergency fund ready
- Planning, adapting and revising your plan
Being clear on your financial philosophy will help prevent or at least mitigate against:
- Keeping up with the Jones
- YOLO – you only live once
- FOMO – fear of missing out
- Consumerism and consumer debt
- Collecting debts and not assets
- Thinking short term
- Failing to plan and set goals
- Thinking nothing can go wrong and so having no safety net.
- Thinking you will catch up on saving later
- Ignoring the problem
Having a philosophy like, I save first and then spend, will help you navigate difficult choices and avoid being pulled in several directions from the latest must-have thing.
It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind, that determines which way we will go.
Know your numbers
What is a financial plan?
Although many people think that a financial plan is all about money, a good financial plan is a life plan.
A comprehensive life and financial plan should consider every area of your life and create wealth across your life, not just in your bank balance.
What’s the point of having lots of money but not the health to do anything with it?
It’s a plan to achieve all you want in life, considering what money you currently have and might need to create to reach your goals.
Life and financial planning will look at where you are now and where you want to be. It’s a transformation guide from A to B.
It will cover:
- Your current finances, income and expenditure = cash flow
- Assets: things you own that have value
- Liabilities: things that you owe money on
- Investments you have: Stocks & Shares, property etc
- Savings: day-to-day cash
- Insurance or protection from things going wrong.
- Benefits you can receive now or later.
- How much might make work optional?
- What life costs do you have now and might in the future.
- What important events might there be in the future?
Figure out what good looks like
What is a good financial plan?
A good financial plan needs to also look at your life and what you want to achieve with your money.
It will consider the above financial considerations and how they fit into what might be more important things like what makes a good life.
A good life and financial plan will include
- What are your goals/best guesses in every area of your life?
- What might you regret missing out on?
- Where are you right now?
- What or where do you want to be in 1,3,5, or more years.
- What is the gap between your goals and reality and the actions you need to take to bridge them?
- Problems, questions, and roadblocks you might encounter and how to get over, under or around them
A good financial plan should take into account how you will create and manage the money that comes into your life to use it to achieve more of what’s important to you.
Here are a few areas where you might have goals or things to aim for that are important to you.
- Health and fitness (get into the right BMI)
- Recreation and hobbies (grow your own vegetables)
- Family and Friends (plan that summer party)
- Romance and Relationships (plan those date nights)
- Finance and net worth (this time next year, we will be millionaires or a bit closer)
- Career and business (get that promotion, pivot your career or work part-time)
- Personal development (order a meal in Spanish)
- Spiritual goals (create more quiet time)
Having a comprehensive picture of your money and what you want it to achieve for you will be far more appealing and enabling to help you live your best life.
Design your GAME Plan
What are your goals in every area of your life
- Health – mind and body
- Wealth – material things as well as savings
- Social – time for friends, family, hobbies and interests
- Community – giving back and making a difference wherever you are
- What are you going to need to do to reach those goals?
- What problems, questions and roadblocks will you encounter and need to overcome?
- Who might you need to speak to?
- What might you need to learn and from where?
- What could you do each day to get closer and closer to your goals?
- What means do you already have, money, skills, experiences, contacts?
- How could you create more time, money or energy to reach your goals?
- What will you do first, second and thirds?
- What will you do each day?
- When will you review how it’s going and make any changes that are needed?
“There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines.”
FAQ: How to plan finances for life. 4 great ways to make a simple plan
What are the common mistakes in financial planning?
The obvious first error in financial planning is having no plan.
The next error is only planning your money.
What are you amassing all this money for?
It’s what you will do with the money that’s the fun part, not the actual cash.
Growing your money is not a great objective; growing it for what? To do what with it?
Some of the common mistakes in financial planning include:
-Little or no emergency fund for when things go wrong
-Having no financial philosophy.
-Likewise, for insurance or protection
-Not saving enough – because you have no plan to reach important goals
-Not keeping your records up to date like addresses, wills, and filing.
Not realising you will get old and probably want to do different things later.
-Fixating on arbitrary retirement dates like 65, I wonder why that is?
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”
How do you create a realistic financial plan?
Start with your Goals
What actions would you need to reach them?
What Means do you currently have or would need to create?
Execute and keep reviewing and revising the plan.
From the above, you will see what is realistic and what scale of actions might be needed to reach your ultimate goals.
What is the most important part of a financial plan?
Understanding your cash flow. What’s coming in and going out.
If more is going out than coming in, you have a problem in the short term and a looming disaster in the long term.
Summary: How to plan finances for life. 4 great ways to make a simple plan
Planning your finances for life is as much about your life as about your money.
A good financial plan should be focused on what a good life looks like to you.
It’s about managing, creating, and using your money to achieve wealth in every area of your life and not just your bank balance.
Having a philosophy on life and money will help steer you in the right direction, avoiding disasters on the way.
- Paying yourself first
- Having an emergency fund in place
- Thinking long term
- Keeping costs low
- Staying away from expensive debt
- Living within your means
- Continuing your learning in money and life
- Have inspiring goals to work towards
You have one life, plan and live it accordingly.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on how to plan finances for life: let me know yours in the comments below.
Life not going quite as you expected?
Would having a Life and financial plan in place help bring clarity on what’s most important to you and how to achieve it?
- Life, job and finances not heading in the direction you hoped?
- One or two months away from financial disaster?
- Not enough time or money to achieve what’s most important to you?
- No idea how to plan, save and invest to lead a great life?
What’s likely to be the outcome if you don’t make some serious plans asap?
More of the same?
Without making some clear plans you are at real risk of repeating what has gone before and or falling into someone else’s plan.
And guess what they have planned for you?
Life and financial planning will give you the support, guidance, and accountability you need to succeed with money and life, building wealth in every area of your life.
- Get your life and money organised
- Build your savings cushion to create more life options.
- Help you figure out what’s most important to you and how much money is enough.
- Help you understand and build wealth so you don’t have to worry about money anymore.
Start building your life and money confidence now because waiting will only make it more expensive and painful to achieve later.
Plan, build and enjoy your life and money.
Taking you from life and financial crisis to happiness.
Contact us here for a chat about building your life and money confidence.