The process of taking control of your money is not a sprint; it’s a distance race. You have to take time and pace yourself. You have to see the big picture and be aware of all the steps you are taking to gain control. Each step has specific purpose in moving you forward.
Each step has to be simple enough to stick with, flexible enough to adjust to changing priorities and life events, and meaningful enough to provide you with tangible benefits and real value.
I have outlined four fundamental steps to help you pace yourself and go the distance.These simple, common sense steps are your guideposts to smarter spending, smarter saving, and smarter investing.
Of course, where you start and your pace are unique to you. Whatever your situation, I can coach you every step of the way to help you set goals and develop healthy money habits to achieve those goals.
Money coaching is not just about advice. It’s also about value. I want you to see the value in each step you take, whether it’s scaling back spending so you can save more, improving your credit score now so you can purchase a home later, or creating a do-it-yourself, low-cost investment portfolio to provide security in retirement.
Each step is designed to put you in control of your money, reduce your stress, and get you on the right track to financial independence.
STEP 1. ON YOUR MARK, GET SET….
Before you can get your money back on track, you need to find your footing. To do that, we focus on three areas to warm up. First, I listen to you, so I learn about your unique financial situation, habits, concerns, and goals.
Then you and I develop a clear picture of your finances, a dashboard you can use to create an action plan and track progress. The dashboard highlights two key numbers: your net worth and your credit score. These two numbers tell you everything you need to know about your current financial situation.
Finally, you can’t manage your money until you know exactly where your money is going. To do that, I teach you how to track cash flow the easy way.
STEP 2. GO!
You are off and running! You now have a clear picture of your financial situation, including your net worth and credit score, and track your cash flow on a weekly basis. We have identified areas of concern and have created a plan to put you in control of your money.
At this point we can dig a bit deeper and begin to cover more ground. We work together to resolve outstanding issues on your credit report and create a plan to improve your credit score. We also identify opportunities to reduce spending so you have money left over at the end of the month, otherwise known as positive cash flow. We can then develop a strategy to pay off your debt and to boost your emergency savings.
STEP 3. HIT YOUR STRIDE
You are now well on your way to improving your credit score and reducing your debt. You have gained confidence in your ability to cover unexpected expenses. We have laid a strong foundation, and your ability to achieve long-term financial goals is now a reality. It’s time to push yourself and see how far you can really go.
We start by looking for opportunities to expand the gap between your expenses and income. We then create habits to further increase your savings to meet long-term goals such as home ownership, retirement and college savings. I also show you how to create a low-cost, do-it-yourself investment portfolio with the proper asset allocation to match your risk tolerance and support your long-term goals.
STEP 4. GO THE DISTANCE
You are now on the right track to financial independence. You have taken control of your money by implementing positive habits, reduced your stress and increased your self-confidence. You realize that money management doesn’t have to be complicated. Sure there will be missteps and hurdles along the way, but the main goal is to keep moving forward.
I’m here when you have doubts, questions, or just need a money accountability partner. We can review your debt repayment, savings, and investment strategies, which I recommend you do annually, as your goals and timelines change. I can help you plan and react to major life events (marriage, divorce, job loss, birth, etc.); review insurance, tax, and estate planning needs; and discuss ways to increase income streams.
Contact me today to set up your free 30-minute consultation to learn how I can help you Get on the Right Track to Financial Independence.