How To Start Your Financial Year Right

by financialmom on January 3, 2011

in Financial Plan, Holidays, Success Principles

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Happy New Year!   Are you worried about your finances already?  Here’s how to put it all into perspective and start your financial year the right way!

Reflect

Yes, it has to be done.  If you haven’t already, take some time and think about what happened (or didn’t happen) with your finances and investments last year.

Start with the positive stuff. Your successes could be many things - big and small. Maybe you finally cut up your credit cards, and paid off the large credit card debt that’s been dogging you for years.  You put a spending plan in writing, and are comparing it each month to what you actually spend.  Or you committed to balancing your checkbook every month.

How about you just survived a very challenging financial year in a poor economy! You lived within your means, and you made it work.  Or, you didn’t panic when the markets were down, didn’t sell your investments, and are now being rewarded for your patience.

Then think about the not-so-great stuff. Maybe you made a few too many impulse purchases, so you still haven’t saved an adequate emergency fund.  You couldn’t resist buying some gold at its all-time-high price.  You listened to your coworker when he said you need to put your retirement money in cash (market timing), or you would lose it all in the next dip of the market – and you completely missed the gains of the market last year.

Acknowledge

Be honest with yourself about what worked and what didn’t work. If you don’t understand why, or need an outside unbiased perspective, get yourself some good advice from a trusted financial advisor.  Pat yourself on the back for all the things you did right.  Don’t beat yourself up too badly if you made mistakes – just move on to fixing them.

Time for a Plan

If you want a different financial result than last year, you need to do something different than what you were doing last year. It’s time to get serious with a written financial plan that’s realistic for you.  Don’t just think you know what to do in your head.  Put it in writing.  If you have no clue where to start with a spending plan and financial goal setting – again, get some good financial advice!

Work the Plan

Review your plan as often as necessary to make sure you follow it. Understand you may need to make some modifications as you go – that’s okay and expected.   Life happens, and you may need to adjust.  But a plan sitting in a file folder does nothing.  You have to work the plan if you expect to be successful.

Celebrate Successes

Be sure to recognize the things you do right as you go.  Take time to enjoy the great feeling you have when you save up for something before you buy it.   Or you stay within your spending plan for a month, and are that much closer to paying off your debt.   Remember how good these things feel, so you will be motivated to keep focused on your financial goals.

Start right now, develop good financial habits, and you will have more successes to celebrate this year!

New Profile Pic 2599R How To Start Your Financial Year RightPamela Otten is CEO of Pamela Otten LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. She loves to work with women business owners and entrepreneurs, and women in transition due to job change, death, or divorce. Pamela will help you set and reach your financial goals, educate you to understand your investments, and teach you how to do more charitable giving. Pamela is a Qualified Kingdom Advisor (www.kingdomadvisors.org), trained and committed to integrating biblical principles with her investment advice.

cc smallest How To Start Your Financial Year RightPhoto Credit – Mykl Roventine

Financial Planning, Investment Advice, and Investment Management provided through Pamela Otten LLC, Registered Investment Advisor.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, please consult your financial advisor prior to investing.

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