I know, I know ‘tis the season to be jolly and full of lots of good cheer. By now you’ve probably already had your office holiday party – or not – depending on the frugality of your employer; I have heard a lot of buzz circulating around lately about companies cracking down on the typical expense and grandeur of these celebrations. Nevertheless, for me at least, the last few weeks on my calendar have been assigned to friends, family, ugly Christmas sweater parties, swapping gifts and toasting to the final days of 2018.
Per usual, nagging in the back of my mind is the preparation for the New Year to come. Financial preparation that is. While it’s not necessary to base your financial goals on a calendar year, it is by far the most common time when people are setting intentions and making 365 days’ worth of plans for themselves and their households.
It is a period of time when most of us reset. With that in mind, there are a few techniques to lock in when (if) you are considering your financial landscape for 2019. In essence, you will be able to start the year off with a tight grip on the reigns with a little forward thinking.
It’s all in the details
Think about it. No matter what you are preparing for the details matter. Whether it’s a home cooked meal or an artistic masterpiece, the specific intricacies are what make the final product stand out. The same goes for your finances. Getting detailed with what your financial goals are takes time, care and precision. Have you ever been pleased to receive your meal from a five-star restaurant with those perfectly julienned vegetables and each item placed meticulously for a delightful presentation?
It should come as no surprise that it was intentional, and we have to care just as much about how we are involved in the final presentation of what we are cooking up financially. Our goals, or end results, are affected by how well we manage our finances. Once you have written down your goals it is necessary to assign somewhat of a pecking order to them. This is personal to you (if single) and should be discussed if you are married. These goals should range from short term to long term and have no limits.
What’s a goal without a plan?
They say a goal without a plan is just a wish. I don’t know who “they” is but just roll with it, because “they” make a whole lot of sense. It is not enough to have a goal in mind without thoughtfully designing how it will be achieved.
Have you ever booked a flight, packed your bags and boarded a plane not knowing where it was going to land? Me either! What about ridden in a vehicle where the driver didn’t know where they were going? I have, sort of. And that was pretty unnerving. To move about aimlessly is a sure fire way to create a boatload of worry and anxiety, if you happen to be a person that cares about where you land. Unfortunately, when it comes to finances I am not as carefree as I would like to be, primarily because of a lot of mistakes made early on based off of wandering. Planning takes discipline. It also requires you to become fixated on the end result with a confidence in knowing that it will be achieved. Most importantly, planning allows you to stop making financial decisions based on fear.
Ask and you shall receive
The best part about dealing with financial situations is that you do not have to navigate through them alone. There are many qualified professionals that are capable of guiding you through the process of achieving your financial goals. The only thing required from you is transparency and patience. Patience is usually the part that stifles many from achieving their goals. Often times when we are faced with the truth of our financial picture we throw in the towel at the sign of defeat. It is imperative to remember that there is a solution for everything; some just take longer to flesh out than others. Invest in yourself, ask for the help.
Let’s keep doing the work.
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