Thursday, June 14, 2012

Plan for your financial future

"Plan for your financial future. As you move through life toward retirement and the decades which follow, we invite all . . . to plan frugally for the years following full-time employment. Be even more cautious . . . about “get-rich” schemes, mortgaging homes, or investing in uncertain ventures. Proceed cautiously so that the planning of a lifetime is not disrupted by one or a series of poor financial decisions. Plan your financial future early; then follow the plan" 
(“To the Elderly in the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 4).

Now is the time to plan your financial future. The best place to start is by deciding what you want out of life. How can you motivate yourself to save your money when you don't know what you're saying for? Why do you want to be financially self-reliant? Do you want to retire at 50? Do you want to pay off your house in 20 years rather than 30?

What are your goals? Most goals have a financial element tied up in them - it's important to know what you are working towards or you might miss the mark. I find that when I go through life without setting goals, I'm often disappointed when I look back. I wish I had accomplished more. By setting your goals now, you can avoid that. Write your goals down - a goal not written is only a wish.

For your reference, here are some of our goals:
-Graduate from school debt free
-Become CPA certified
-Plan on  Greg pursuing an MBA
-Stay up to date on personal finance topics (through magazine and WSJ subscriptions)
-Go on a date each week 
-Have money for our kids to participate in extra-curricular activities
-Take a trip to Alaska
-Go on a cruise, maybe to some of the islands in Greg's mission
-Take one family trip per year
-Take at least one trip on our own, just Greg and me
-Find a way to still participate in ballet
-Be spontaneous
-Save 20% of every dollar we make
-Save money for children's educations, missions, marriage
-Find a good deal on a second car
-Become better at couponing, finding deals, going to garage/yard sales

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