We know how to avoid mistakes that derail your financial plans;
We know what critical behaviors are needed for financial progress;
We know where to focus in order to change your trajectory
Over the past couple weeks we have reviewed how and what. This week, we turn to where you should focus your efforts so that your financial future becomes what you want it to be.
Where Are You Going?
All of us are on a path, going somewhere, even if we don’t know it on a conscious level. Is where you are heading financially different than where you want to go? Most individuals, if they are honest, will nod affirmatively . The problem is compounded because many times, the steps needed to correct the errant trajectory are not obvious. Inertia takes hold and you begin to lose your greatest asset: time. Start by focusing on exactly where you want to go. Create realistic financial goals for the long term and let these goals drive your behavior.
Money means different things to everyone…it isn’t one size fits all. For some, money means the ability to retire and maintain their lifestyle. For others, money might be for creating family memories or a legacy. The particular role that money plays in your long-term plans is what should be your unfiltered primary area of focus. If you need help figuring out exactly what your goals are, ask yourself this question: What do I value most?
Filling In The Gaps
One of the most practical aspects of financial planning is that it helps to separate the important information from the useless. Most of the images that pass before us each day fall into the latter category. Because our brains process information at about twice the rate we talk, even when we are engaged in conversation, our brains are filling in gaps with additional, often useless detail.
Money can create flexibility and freedom. However, money can also create innumerable problems and headaches. Because of this duality, money is difficult to think about. Within this environment, it is easy to make poor decisions about money. Almost every financial choice comes down to fear on one hand and happiness on the other. For every money decision, some opportunity is given up for the opportunity to gain elsewhere.
Focusing on your inputs (spending/saving, allocations, behavior) and eliminating distracting external elements, (almost everything else), will alter your trajectory to the course you desire. Ready to change your money focus? Ready for a real conversation?