These are rough financial times for everyone – people are having a hard time maintaining their finances and they are living from paycheck to paycheck. The first years of marriage are fun and comfortable – that is true – but that is just a game you are playing as one big happy family. “Nothing else matters as long as we are all together” is a sentence you have heard in dozens of movies, but life has taught us all that money doesn’t fall from the sky and that miracles rarely happen.
The process of achieving financial stability is slow and it implies a lot of sacrifices, but it will be your shelter when the financial storm comes. It is never too early to start planning for the future. Creating a financial plan can and will help you overcome some of the biggest financial moves in your life – such as buying a house or a car, college payments for your children, etc. Here are a few steps which will help you form and harvest the full benefits of a financial plan.
Review your budget!
First of all, you need to assess your monthly income and expenses that burden your monthly budget. Water, electricity, heating, and phone bills are always a top priority. Evaluate your expenses and try to find a loophole – where you can save some money, whilst avoiding debts. Reason your expenses.
Open a separate savings account
By tightening your budget, you will end up with a certain amount of spare money at the end of each month. Instead of just throwing it away on some random pleasures in life, put it in your savings account. Even if they seem small and meaningless at that point, they are a vital part of your future savings. Restrict yourself from using that account except for emergencies only!
Set measurable goals
Saving money for “just in case” is a bad thing. You need to set measurable goals for your savings. For example, saving for a car as a concept will be far less motivational than saving for a “Mini Cooper”. Always keep your mind on what are you saving for. This way, you will know when you have reached your goal and when to start saving for something else.
Motivation is important
Although long term saving is rewarding at the end, you will have to restrain yourself from some simple pleasures in life. This often results in lack of motivation and most people often give up. That is why you need to keep motivating yourself for successful saving. For example, whenever you reach a milestone (like six months of saving), reward yourself with something small and meaningful, like a family night-out – a movie or a dinner.
Reconsider hiring a financial planner
If you are finding it hard to plan for yourself, you can always consider hiring a financial planner. You might find it difficult to calculate your budget on a monthly basis. That is why you can always consult an experienced accountant that will help you estimate your budget and point you in the right direction –the one which can save you money. Keep in mind that although financial planners are charging for their services, they can help you significantly when it comes to controlling your budget and optimizing your monthly savings.
As we mentioned, saving for the future is a hard and slow process but it’s highly rewarding at the end.
The sooner you start saving, the less you will have to fear for your future. A good savings account will provide you financial stability, not only in rough financial times but for significant financial emergencies as well.