Today’s To Do List Tuesday is all about financial planning and review. I don’t care if you make a little or a lot, everyone should check and plan for your future. I will caveat everything here by saying, I am not a professional financial planner. Even if you think you don’t “qualify” to have a financial planner, I would find one. There are many good financial planners that will offer a free consultation. Here is a partial list of things you should review, consider, plan and act upon:
- Review your financial goals. I’m not talking about the generic I wanna retire early and rich. Those are worthy thoughts, but completely useless unless you make some specific written goals. I want to retire at age 55 with $X in the bank. Now you have a goal. Make a plan to achieve it. I must save $Y/week to retire at age 55. Now you have something you can track. You can do this on a simple spreadsheet.
- Review your budget and see how you are doing. My wife pulls all our numbers and checks everything quarterly. If you are just getting started with a budget, you might want to do this monthly for the first 4-5 months
- Check your emergency fund or start one if you don’t have one. Ideally it is 3-6 months of expenses, but something is better than nothing! This is one of your financial goals. Have a 3 month emergency fund of $X by a specific date.
- Assess any big life changes. Getting married? divorced? Having children? Changing jobs? Buying a house? All these require some extra planning and attention.
- Review your home owners or renters insurance. Do you need more or less insurance?
- Review your health insurance.
- Review your list of financial goals for the last year. If you have any debt, eliminating or reducing that is your number one goal. Update date and add new goals for next year.
- Do you have your will and other important documents up to date and in a fire safe?
This list is not complete and some of the things are not applicable to you. Remember that your financial goals don’t have to start huge, but they have to start. As a matter of fact it’s usually better to start small. The more achievable the goal the better off you are. If you are literally starting from nothing. Make a goal to have 100 dollars/pounds/euros/dinar, whatever in savings by the end of the month. If 100 is not doable make it 50, but start today. Good luck and let’s have some responsible finances out there! Thanks for dropping by.