Many, including myself in the past, would assume that to get a financial plan, I would have to pay for a financial planning company (or person) to do it for me. However, this isn’t the case at all! It can be much easier than you would think to put together and create your own financial plans, or alternatively joint ones with family members. You can also find some great, simple to follow templates online, if you don’t want to start totally from scratch.
Consider your options both long term and short term
Any good financial plan will consider your options and goals both long term and short term. A short term goal could be paying off a small debt such as a store card, or saving a small amount of money over a period of time. Of course, goals don’t need to be about just paying something off, so please consider everything relating to your finances. Want to plan for a holiday? Move house? Have a baby? Relocate? These are all options you could consider. Spent up after paying for Christmas? This is also something which you should make a plan for.
Remember to consider your current situation
It’s great to have goals, but you need to have a starting point. By starting from your current situation, you can write a list of all your current savings and investments. Then create another list including your debts and liabilities, so that you can look into your current financial situation. This will then aid with looking into how close or far you are from your goals.
Create a mini plan to pay off your debt first
Creating a mini plan to pay off any current debts, will be very helpful in the long run. It’s important to do this before you focus on any savings. Debt can have a huge emotional impact on your life and wellbeing, so it’s a good idea to ensure any debt is paid off as a priority.
Creating your financial plan
By connecting your goals with how far you are from those goals, you can combine the two to come up with a plan of how you are going to meet those goals and consider any possible routes to achieve them. Consider and include a plan for emergencies, such as an emergency savings fund or look at your options for quick loans online. You never know when you may need to find some extra cash for something important. As a freelancer, I personally have to have a back up plan in case companies don’t pay my invoices on time – this happens more often than you would think.
Regular reviews will be required
For your financial plan to be a success, it’s important to do regular reviews. This will help you to stay in control of your money and understand where you are financially. You may gain more motivation if you see that you are getting closer to some or all of your goals. Alternatively, if your plan isn’t working, you can use this as an opportunity to recognise this and make any adjustments required. Adjustments could even be simply reducing the amount you put away in your savings for a specific period of time.