by Jaynee Sasso
Today’s financial climate is filled with moments of instability, confusion and panic. Suddenly, people are being forced to reassess their budgets and sometimes choose between raiding their 401K’s, or learning to make adjustments in their lifestyle. The ability to make wise financial decisions is never easy. It is especially challenging if you tend to be re-active instead of pro-active. In order to remain pro-active, one must learn to assign his money a “purpose” before it gets into his hands.
An example of re-active financial planning, consider this: One woman going through a financial crunch pays her bills according to which creditor screams the loudest. This begins a cycle of juggling to pay past due bills, dodging calls from collectors, and overall neglect of financial goals. The creditors now begin to control her cash flow, and hence, her future, because the bill collectors are calling the shots.
You can avoid this in most cases by simply taking time to plan or assign purpose to your money. A goal-oriented budgeting system is a great way to give your money a purpose. It allows you to establish boundaries that serve as a guide to help you achieve your monthly goals, which will eventually lead to long-term financial success. Often we don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan. Financial success is only achieved through proper planning. People such as Oprah Winfrey, Russell Simmons, and Bill Gates are not financially successful by chance. Their continued success is deliberate. They are motivated by “purpose” and they make financial decisions based on what it takes to fulfill the visions they have for their lives.
Many people are in a financial rut because their spending habits are made without a purpose or vision in mind. Whether it’s going to the mall, grocery store, or sitting with a financial advisor, all decisions should be pushing us closer to fulfilling our overall financial vision. We must take the time to evaluate whether our decisions are keeping us on track to accomplishing our goals, or pulling us further away. Financial success is not always about making right or wrong choices. Financial success is about taking responsibility to make choices that position us for success. Despite the grim economic forecast of recession, foreclosures, and rising unemployment rates this is the perfect time to establish a new order in your life. Purpose-driven financial planning positions us to weather any economic storm and stay on course to achieving our goals.
Here are “5 Ways to Begin Purpose-Driven Planning”
- Develop a vision statement for you and/or your family. Begin to see the end from the beginning.
- Create a “goal oriented” budget and begin to use it as your road map to fulfilling your vision instead of keeping your focus on just paying the bills.
- Keep a financial diary and begin to track your expenses.
- Focus your spending decisions around helping you to achieve your goals.
- Make a decision not to allow your emotions to justify irresponsible behavior.
Jaynee Sasso is founder and president of Faithful Assistants Inc., an online financial empowerment center that offers financial wellness seminars, private coaching, group coaching, and a referral network of financial industry professionals. Since 2005, Faithful Assistants has been a resource center for individuals facing financial crisis. As a licensed real estate agent and foreclosure specialist, she helps families understand their options, and survive foreclosure. In her professional positions, she has been saddened by seeing that many people lack basic money management skills and as a result often face financial crisis. This led her to begin Faithful Assistants.