Last time we discussed how to begin a quest for financial organization. So let’s get started. The first step, assessing your current situation, will help you create a realistic plan. Acknowledging where you are will impact how you move forward. It also creates the practices you need to put in place to create that financial organization.
Before changing anything… and I mean anything… you need to take stock. Let’s begin with your starting point. Take out your blank financial notebook, and let’s dig in.
3 Financial Organization Questions
As you write your answers down, take several minutes to reflect. Remember, you’re building the foundation of a financially organized life. What you put in is what you’ll get out of this journey. I suggest giving yourself at least 20 minutes for this exercise, giving yourself the time necessary to contemplate honest and complete answers.
- What are your 3 biggest financial challenges?
- What are your top 3 goals for this year?
- What are your top 3 financial strengths?
Last year when I helped a couple get more financially organized, they had problems with 1) overwhelming credit card debt with minimum payments they couldn’t handle anymore, 2) a hefty mortgage payment and 3) a income deficit due to the husband being laid off and unable replace his six-figure income.
Sadly, this situation isn’t uncommon; many families were affected by the economic downturn. While this couple’s situation was a combination of forces out of their control, some of the issues were a direct result of how they (mis)managed their money.
In completing this first exercise, they decided their one year goals were: 1) to create a workable plan to regarding the credit card debt and change their habits in managing it, 2) seek a home loan modification, and 3) find alternative income so they could keep their home. Fast forward twelve months. They received a loan modification and rented out spare rooms. While they are still working on improving their financial situation, they have stopped their reliance on credit cards to make up the monthly income shortfall. In essence, they succeeded in creating and maintaining a workable financial plan.
So, how did it go in answering these three questions? Next time we’ll examine your past and uncover your money beliefs.