You Need a Plan

What’s your money doing for you right now? If you can’t answer that, or it’s not doing exactly what you want it to be doing, you need a plan. You see, if you don’t tell your money what to do, it will just sort of hop right into the pockets of others. And when you look back at what you did with the money you make, you won’t know.

Your short- and long-term money plans

You need a plan that covers both the short- and long-term. Short-term could be considered anything from what you intend to spend at the grocery store tonight, to how you’re going to pay your car insurance bill that’s due in six months, to where you want to vacation next year. Long-term, of course, is everything farther out than that. Your future, in other words.

Do you want to be able to pay for your kids’ college? What about retirement? (Even if you don’t think you’d ever want to retire, you should be able to if you have to.) And what about becoming wealthy?

If you don’t plan for those things, they won’t happen. Either at all, or in any way remotely close to what you’d actually like.

Do the two step

Since you’ll need to plan for both the distant future and for things that’ll be happening soon, you need a bit of a financial two-step. First, you need to think about what your hopes and dreams are. If you could do anything with your money, and you could have enough of it, what would you do?

Think about what you really want. Don’t be afraid to dream big, but also don’t just toss out “move to a deserted island” unless that’s truly what you would like for your life. (Personally, I think a lot of folks would get bored. Unless they’re like this guy who bought an island.)

Once you’ve got your dreams in mind, think about your immediate needs too. You know, stuff like paying the bills and getting yourself on track financially.

The secret weapon

Then use the secret weapon of money-plans, zero-based budgeting, to help you accomplish both. Once you start making your money do what you want it to do — instead of whatever it feels like — a funny thing will happen.

You’ll end up with more of it.

That’s because when you pay attention to your money and are responsible with it (and by responsible I mean that you do things like saving, investing, and paying off debt) you learn, grow, and it becomes easier to make more of it. So get yourself a plan. A plan that will help you reach your goals. YOUR plan.

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