Presented by EMILY PROMISE, AIF®, APMA®, CRPC®
As women, we have financial needs that are unique to our situation in life. Perhaps you would like to purchase your first home. Maybe you need to start saving for your child’s education. You might be contemplating opening your own business. Or you might be concerned about planning your retirement. Whatever your circumstances, it is important to have a clear understanding of your overall financial position.
This means constructing and implementing a plan. With a comprehensive financial plan in place, you will be able to better focus on your financial goals and understand what it will take to reach them.
At Blakely Financial, we believe that there are three main steps in creating and implementing an effective financial plan and they include:
- Developing a clear picture of your current financial situation
- Setting and prioritizing financial goals and time frames
- Implementing appropriate saving and investment strategies
- DEVELOP A CLEAR PICTURE
To begin, develop a clear picture of your current financial situation. Consider establishing a budget or spending plan. To develop that budget, you will need to identify your current monthly income and expenses. Start by adding all your income including regular salary and wages, dividends, interest and child support.
Next add up all your expenses. You can divide your expenses into fixed and discretionary.
- Fixed expenses are things that are necessities, such as housing, food, transportation, etc.
- Discretionary expenses are things like entertainment, vacations and hobbies.
To help stay on track with your budget, get into the habit of saving. Make it part of your daily routine. Build an occasional reward into your budget – we all need that something special, don’t we? Examine your budget and adjust it as needed.
- PRIORITIZING FINANCIAL GOALS
The second step in creating your financial plan is to set and prioritize financial goals. Start out by making a list of things you would like to achieve. Divide it into short and long-term goals.
- Short term goals may include making sure you have a cash reserve if you are paying off a high-interest credit card debt.
- Long term goals include purchasing a home, retiring early, saving for your child’s education.
Once you establish these goals, you will need to prioritize them.
- IMPLEMENT SAVINGS & INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
After you have determined your financial goals, you will want to know how much it will take to fund each goal. Look at your time horizon, your financial tolerance to investment risk, and your liquidity needs.
It is important to manage your debt as well as credit and avoid the financial pitfalls that can go hand in hand with borrowing. Identify exactly how much you owe then develop a short-term plan to manage your payments and avoid late fees. Think about optimizing your repayments by paying off high-interest debt first.
Understand the information contained in your credit report. Review your report regularly. You can access it annually for a free copy at www.annualcreditreport.com.
We are all busy and sometimes it is hard to find the time to do it all on your own. Consider working with a financial advisor to assist you in creating and implementing your financial plan. A financial professional can help you:
- Determine the state of your current affairs by a full review of your income, assets and liabilities
- Develop a plan and help identify your financial goals
- Make recommendations about specific products or services unique to your current situation
- Monitor your plan
- Adjust your plan as needed
In my experience, I have seen women that develop a plan, identify their goals and work towards those goals achieve much more success than those who don’t. Take time now to be good to yourself and you will definitely reap the rewards in the future.
Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other expert advice we can provide towards your financial well-being.
EMILY PROMISE is a financial advisor with BLAKELY FINANCIAL, INC. located at 1022 Hutton Ln., Suite 109, High Point, NC 27262 and can be reached at (336) 885-2530.
Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
*Prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions