What is the first step to financial planning? Organization!

Financial planning can be a daunting task even for the most business and money inclined of us. Many times, I have come across clients who are literally paralyzed when they think of getting their financials in order and starting to put together a plan. Many of them come to this impasse because of a life event that has forced them to take stock. The dread moment has come and for most people that is the first moment when we open a drawer or shoe box and see a jumble of statements and forms that we have neglected for too long. We realize the first thing we should have done and now must do is organize.

What has this denial brought me?

My mother once told me that problems and situations ignored were like pregnancies, hidden at first but obvious before they pop. Unfortunately, the same is true for neglected financials. There are no horrible, immediate repercussion when we first neglect to open our bills or balance our check book. Yet, as this apathy becomes a habit, we start to see things snowball into chaos that could take years to dig oneself out of.  We start to see  some of the following:

  • Late Fees
  • Overdraft Fees
  • Undiscovered Fraud
  • Damaged Credit Score
  • Bankruptcy

What can we do to start organizing?

There are a series of things that we can do to start regaining control of our money, but all these steps start at one crucial point, Mindset. We must come to a realization that we are capable of handling our money and that by doing so we can live a more empowered life. The knowledge we gain by just opening our financial statements helps us plan for the future with confidence. We must embrace the money mindset and see money not as something to avoid, but as a path to prosperity and abundance, if we embrace it. We are helping our members reach this goal every week with a new MONDAY MONEY MOTIVATIONAL emailed to them in the mornings. Taking time to think about our prosperity in a positive way can change so much of our outlook.

What are some tools we can use?

I like to suggest to my clients that we approach organizing finances like we would any closet, I visit the office aisle at Target. If you, like me, are old school and like paper and pen, then I strongly recommend that you get an expand- flex with a minimum 12 slots so that you can have a slot per month. Place your Opened Statements in each slot, including but not exclusive of:

  • Bank Statements
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Bills
  • Health Care Statements
  • Financial Statements

Many of you have moved into the 21st Century and embraced cloud and virtual record keeping. Luckily, there are some amazing options if you want to keep everything within the grasp of your laptop, tablet and smart phone. First, look at what options for online banking with your bank. Many of them have great capabilities and will allow you to link external accounts. If you want to use an independent software, I strongly recommend Quicken. Secondly, set up Automatic Bill Pay payments whenever possible to avoid incurring late fees and bad reports to the credit agencies. Lastly, make a calendar appointment on paydays to balance your check books. Balancing your check book can be done either on your bank’s website app, financial software, or with your physical checkbook register.

Organizing your financials is not easy but by using these tips and taking it one day at a time you can make it a habit that will put you on the path of prosperity. All our memberships offer you great tools and information to get you on your way, so become a member today. Additionally, our amazing Wise Women ’21 affiliate Brittney Johnson has great content and courses to help empower you. Remember you are worthy and deserving of taking control your finances and prosperity.

Victoria "Vicky" Lowell, CDFA; CCFA
Victoria “Vicky” Lowell, CDFA; CCFA

Founder and President of Empowered Worth

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