by Chiblie Coleman
Financial planning can make your dreams a reality when efficient planning and consistent action; anything can happen. Breaking down goals into small attainable portions gives us the excitement and momentum to execute all our dreams.
Once upon a time, we were little girls with huge dreams. Dreams of big homes, baby dolls, far away places, and Prince Charming. Okay, maybe not all of us and not in that order. BUT we ALL had unlimited dreams. Fast forward, and here we are, some dreams have come to pass, some God has made more significant, and some we continue to see for our future. What a fantastic gift! The ability to dream and create with our minds. I believe God places dreams in our minds and our hearts because we are meant to live them.
Let’s answer some questions honestly:
- What dreams and goals do you have? One of my dreams is to travel. Another dream of mine is to own a home and rental properties.
- What makes you happy every time you think about experiencing your dreams?
Imagine having that thing, time, experience, or goal. Now, let’s work those things into our financial plans. A trip, a new home, a healthy lifestyle, a car, a new wardrobe or purse, whatever it may be,
- How much will it cost you? Use google to help you price out some of these things. Don’t be afraid to shop around and get a good grasp of what you need financially.
- How long will it take you to save up for it or earn it? This step will allow you to be realistic; saving for our goals will take time and patience. Set the pace for yourself.
- After you break down the numbers, BEGIN to save a little at a time.
2020 shall be the year to see your dreams clearly and make them happen. Take financial steps now; your future will thank you. Here are a few ideas to take action items to make your dreams reality:
- Create a budget. Budgeting can take many forms but is ultimately a plan for your money. By tracking your income and spending, you can estimate how much you need on a recurring basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly) and where you may need to make adjustments to reach your goals. You can use a sheet of paper, excel or apps like Every dollar or Fudget to set a budget and review your spending.
- Pay yourself first. Pick a dollar amount or a percent and contribute to a savings or investment account. If you have a checking bank account, open an additional saving account to earn a higher interest on the money held in these accounts. If you already have savings or investment accounts, consider increasing your contribution percentage or dollar amount. I use Bank of America and Fidelity to save and invest. They allow me to track my investments through their apps. Every little bit adds up and can be used to make your dreams a reality.
- Set aside money for gifts or a trip. Stashing cash or money for special occasions can potentially relieve some of the financial burdens of paying later or overspending. I like to put a $20 bill into an envelope every Friday. I use this cash throughout the year whenever I may need to purchase a gift or gift card. Other times I will bring some of the cash on trips as spending money.
- Invest in health insurance. Your health is wealth! Medical expenses and debt are the leading cause of bankruptcy. If you have an employer that offers health insurance, take time to research your options with Human Resources. You can contribute to flexible spending or health savings accounts and receive some tax benefits for doing so. If you are self-employed, check out www.healthcare.gov for options in the health insurance market.
Whatever your goals and dreams may be… personal, global, professional, family… Creating even a simple plan can put you in the path to accomplishing those goals. How will you feel when you achieve your goal and make your dreams happen?!? You have the power. Dream big and make it happen.
A big girl dreaming