Translating your financial goals from an idea to a tangible result can sometimes feel like a dream. When Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in his beloved book Le Petite Prince, he said, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. Saint-Exupéry surely did not have financial planning in mind when he penned that line. But nearly 80 years after the book’s publication, the importance of having a plan to realize your dreams still resonates with crystal clarity in what we do.
Through financial planning, you create a comprehensive picture of your current finances, your financial goals and any strategies you have put in place to enable you in achieving those goals. Your plan can help prepare you for the unexpected and can give you peace of mind when things seem unsteady. Financial planning can seem complicated for the DIYer, and even more daunting when you are planning for your entire family. At Prime Capital Investment Advisors, we believe in empowering investors with knowledge to help bring some clarity to a complex industry. With that mission in mind, we’ve gathered five tips on how to get started with your family financial plan:
- Decide an overall objective – Sit down with your partner and decide an objective for what you want to gain and what you want to do with your earnings. Setting the main objective will help you prioritize the rest of your plan as you continue to build it.
- Overview your budget – Calculate how much money your family is earning and spending. Add up your household monthly income and subtract all monthly fixed and discretionary expenses. Knowing where your budget stands will help give you insight into whether your family is making progress on your goals.
- Cut down your debt – After reviewing your budget, you will have a clearer picture of where your debt stands. Create a plan of attack and which debts you will pay a minimum on and which ones you want to pay off more aggressively. Quick Tip: Try to start paying down any debt that has higher interest rates.
- Set your goals – First, lay out your short-term goals like setting aside $1,000 in an emergency fund or having $10,000 in savings. Once you have your short-term goals established, think about what you want to achieve in the longer term. Things like saving $1 million for retirement, paying off your mortgage by 45, or saving $50,000 for your children’s educations are great examples of long-term family goals.
- Establish monthly & yearly budget check up – Creating a family budget isn’t a “one and done” deal. Check in and update your budget and your goals on a regular basis. By checking in, you give yourself the option to adjust your goals based on changes in your family, income or living situation.
Is your family’s financial future secure? By kickstarting your family financial plan, you are on the right path! But you do not have to do this alone.