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Best Way to Achieve Your Dreams: a Life Plan and a Financial Plan

personal financial planDo you ever feel like you are wandering around aimless?  Are you sure of where you want to go but not quite sure if you are on track for getting there?  Two very important plans can assist you in eliminating the feeling of wandering and help you know if you are actually on the right track.

What are these plans?  A life plan and a personal financial plan.

A life plan is a written vision of what you want from life.  Items that a life plan might include are health goals, retirement goals, career, and relationship goals.

It should also include any life experiences you want to have along the way.  Think of things like: going to the super bowl, traveling to Australia, or starting a foundation.  (What is the point of living if you can’t do fun stuff along the way, remember the point of money is to allow you to do the things you want to do.)

A personal financial plan is the numbers part of how you are going to make your life plan happen.  It makes you figure out what it will take to achieve that retirement dream, or the trip to Australia or even the real costs of starting a foundation.  It encompasses everything from how much you need to save, to your estate plan and more.

Why do you need to have a life and personal financial plan?

Without a plan for your life your life will just happen the way it wants.  This is when you find yourself half way to retirement with no money saved, a pile of debt and no idea where to go with a career you don’t want.  Instead of creating a life around your goals, you end up creating a life and then try and squeeze your dreams into the empty spaces.

Don’t let your life happen to you – you need to happen to your life!  (Click to Tweet Quote!)

Do you need both a life and personal financial plan?

Without knowing what you want from life it can be pretty hard to create a financial plan to help you achieve what you want.  Having both allows you to control what you want to do in life.  A financial plan without you determining what you want to do in life is actually harder to have success with as you have no why behind anything that you are doing.

Sit down and create a life plan so you know exactly where you want to go.  This can be as simple as a vision statement for five, ten, fifteen and twenty years out.  Or it can be as detailed as including your values, mission statement and more!  Set aside one hour this week to start working on your life plan – no really stop right now and put it on the calendar

Once you have your life plan down on paper, you can begin to create the financial plan that will make your life plan into reality.  This should include how much you need to save, and details on how you are going to build this into your budget.  The more details you put into it the great the chance you have of achieving your goals.

Now you have a plan for how to achieve your dreams that you can actually make happen – no more wishing or wondering how to make it happen.  Congratulations!

Overwhelmed by the idea of figuring this out on your own?  Long term planning is my specialty!  Learn more about my financial coaching options.

A special thank you to Martin of Studenomics for including me in last weeks Carnival of Personal Finance

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