What is it that is important to you? What are the relationships, the interests and goals that bring you joy? These elements, when placed at the center of a financial plan, can have a profound impact on one’s motivation to participate in financial conversation, decision making, and investing. When we can articulate what matters most, suddenly there is purpose in why we spend, save, invest, and protect. When we have purpose, we are far more likely to take the steps necessary to actually plan for our future and take action towards turning those plans to reality. Here are 7 questions to ask yourself:
For those who are married, or in a committed relationship, have your partner ask themselves these same questions. Then discuss – but remember – it’s okay if your answers are different. They don’t have to be the same, this doesn’t have to be conflict. Rather these are discussion points, give and take, compromise. You may have your priorities; they may have theirs. With creative planning, it’s possible to have a plan both of your can be happy with.
What interests do you have? When not working, how would you most like to spend your time? Does this cost money?
What are the relationships that are important to you? Who are the people in your life that matter most to you? Who is it that you want to spend money doing things with? Who is it that if they got into financial trouble you would want to help? Who is it that you are financially dependent on, financially interdependent with (spouse / partner), who is financially dependent on you (or could be in the future)?
What goals do you have? In the short, medium and long term? Lifestyle, career, sabbaticals, for yourself, for your family, goals for while working and/or while retired? What are the things that will take money and time? If they need money and time, these are things that will need planning.
What Circumstance Might Impact Your Financial Future? Given your personal circumstances, what are the possible things that could impact you financially – both positively and negatively? Some fairly common circumstances include: Work / Business success or struggle, health issues, relationship changes, dependency of loved ones etc… Changes in any of these circumstances and have a significant impact on personal finances, and as such, should be considered.
What is Sacred? Whatever happens, what is it that’s non-negotiable? What is your line in the sand that regardless of what happens you would not want to sacrifice or compromise?
What needs to be protected? Your income? Your loved ones? Your independence? Your financial wellbeing? In life the unexpected can happen, if it happens to you, what/who do you want to protect?
What difference would it make? What/whoever it is that is most important to you, what difference would it make if you were successful at achieving it or not. What would your life look like, how would it feel?
I encourage you to write down your answers. These are the considerations that when reflected in your vision for your future, influence the specific goals you set, the financial plan you establish and the steps you may decide to take to protect what is most sacred. These are the elements that can help motivate financial engagement, and most importantly, help you move forward confident you will be OK.