Creating a family financial plan is the foundation for building an abundant lifestyle. Just like the best gardens are carefully planned, balanced and occasionally trimmed back, your family’s financial plan will need care and nurture to keep your finances growing stronger.
How to Build a Family Financial Plan
Most of us are highly emotional. We tend to react to crisis rather than take early action. Not only is this contrary to a mindful approach it leaves us feeling unsettled about our finances because we never know when the next unexpected crisis will impact or even derail our plans for the future.
Putting a mindful financial plan in place is the key to laying those uneasy feelings to rest and starting out on the path toward an abundant life.
Here’s how I recommend approaching your family financial plan:
Step 1: Determine Your Why
Why are you building a financial plan? What do you want to accomplish? What does success feel like to you?
Articulating the answers to these questions will help you build a strong foundation for your finances, one that brings your money and your life goals in line with each other.
Step 2: Take an Account
You’ve probably done this before, but if you haven’t looked at it in a while, chances are, your financial situation has changed. Take time to figure out where your money is and where it goes. The more you understand about your spending and savings habits, the better fit your plan will be for you moving forward.
Step 3: Make a Plan
With your “why” from Step 1 and your current financials from Step 2, it’s time to combine them into a plan of action. Where do you need to cut back? How can you save for big-ticket items? How do you want to live out retirement years?
If this seems like a crash course, it’s because it is! It’s a condensed version of my free guide How to Build an Abundant Life. If you want more details, download it here.
The Key to Successful Family Financial Plans
No two financial plans ever look the same. They are as individual as the families creating them. But, the most effective financial plans do have a few things in common:
Implementation: A plan isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if it never gets implemented. Once you’ve developed a plan, it’s vital to carve out space to properly implement it. You might need to get familiar with new software or calendar out budget meetings for the next 3 months with your partner. No matter what your plan, be prepared to take time to get it in place so it can start working.
Accountability: One-time financial planning is a bit of a misnomer. Once your plan is in place, it will need care and nurture. In order to reap the benefits, you’ll need to frequently revisit it and make adjustments. Decide what will help hold you accountable-- perhaps it’s calendaring some financial tasks and reminders, working closely with your spouse, or even hiring a coach or financial planner to be an accountability guide.
Flexibility: The best family financial plans move with the forces around you. Taking a mindful approach to your financial planning means your plan should help you focus on the elements you can control and adapts to the unexpected and unpredictable. This keeps you acting from a position of strength, rather than reacting in moments of crisis.
When it’s time to get help with your family’s financial plan
Financial planning services are available to help you get the most out of your money and help you live abundantly while you’re working toward your financial goals.
You might be ready to reach out to a financial planner if:
You have this nagging feeling that your current financial situation could be more efficient.
You’re worried that you are missing out on important opportunities.
You and your partner avoid talking about finances.
When you do approach the subject, it’s stressful and you don’t see eye to eye.
You want to get ahead of the curve and build a plan that takes action, rather than just reacts to your current situation.
If you see yourself in those scenarios, I highly recommend reaching out to a financial planner. If a mindful approach to financial planning is a good fit for you, let’s touch base to see how I can help.