In a world filled with uncertainty a financial plan has this amazing ability to predict the future.
It can help predict future income, expenses, assets, and debts. It can help predict if you’ll be financially secure in the future or if you’ll be eating cat food. It can help predict if you need to save more to achieve your goals or if you can spend more now and enjoy today. In can help predict if you’ll run out of money in retirement or if you’ll end up with millions.
A financial plan isn’t a perfect prediction of course. It’s based on certain assumptions. But good assumptions can create a good prediction. There will still be some chance of the future working out differently than planned, but with a path mapped out the future becomes very real and very achievable.
They say that “failing to plan is planning to fail”. A financial plan will help you know where you’re going. It will help you create a clear roadmap to follow. If you can hit the milestones on the roadmap then success is all but guaranteed.
Here are just a few ways that a financial plan can help you predict the future and make it a reality.
What do you prefer to spend your money on? Cars, houses, vacations? Everyone spends their money differently. Some people enjoy nice cars, large houses, the latest clothes or gadgets, luxurious vacations, food, wine, restaurants, the list is endless.
But for some of us, we like to spend our money a different way. Some of us like to slowly buy more and more freedom, flexibility, and time.
Like other ways to spend money, buying freedom is a personal choice, but it’s the right trade-off for us. We don’t value expensive cars, or large houses, or expensive clothes, but what we do value is freedom, flexibility, and time.
When it comes to personal finance there are many different milestones, and each one is its own individual achievement. Personal finance is full of achievements you need to ‘unlock’ to be successful. The more achievements you unlock, the more success you’ll have at building wealth.
To ‘win’ the money game you need to hit certain milestones along the way. Some achievements are necessary before you can move forward in the game. Others enable you to accelerate your wealth even faster. And then there are some achievements that are just interesting check points along the way.
Here are 30 personal finance achievements you need to unlock!
How many have you unlocked already?
Are actively managed portfolios guaranteed to underperform passively managed portfolios? That’s what William F. Sharpe argued when he wrote The Arithmetic Of Active Management.
The idea is quite simple, and the paper is quite short if you’d like to read it.
It presents a very simple argument for low-cost passive investing versus high-cost active investing.
Through simple arithmetic, Sharpe argues that it’s easy to see that passive portfolios will outperform active portfolios. The argument is built on a few simple concepts so let’s take a look…
Some surprises are great… but one surprise no one likes an unexpected expense. An unexpected expense can really wreak havoc on your personal finances. Unfortunately, unexpected expenses are extremely common, especially for those who own homes and vehicles.
For those of us who own large depreciating assets like vehicles, homes, boats, RVs etc., planning for unexpected expenses is an important financial habit. We need to prepare for future repairs and upgrades, even if they’re not entirely predictable.
At PlanEasy we call these types of expenses “infrequent expenses”. Unlike your regular monthly bills, infrequent expenses are not regular and are much less predictable. It’s hard to predict both the size and timing of infrequent expenses but they are still expenses that we need to prepare for.
If you own a depreciating asset like a home or vehicle then you can be guaranteed to have some large expenses in the future. To prepare for these expenses you need to set aside a certain amount of money each month, otherwise you’ll feel a nasty cash flow pinch in the future, or in a worst-case scenario, end up in debt. For those with a large home and 1-2 vehicles, setting aside $500 to $1,000+ per month is a pretty common goal. How much are you setting aside for infrequent expenses? Is it enough?
To manage these infrequent expenses, we can use a “fund” or “funds”. A fund is a small pot of money that you contribute to regularly. It’s set aside in a high-interest savings account and waits there ready to help when these types of expenses occur. We don’t like to think of this as savings, and its not an emergency fund, this is future spending that just hasn’t quite happened yet.
Sometimes you have to take a risk. But not all risks are created equal. Some risks have rewards that greatly outweigh the potential downside. These risks can pay off big-time down the road, but its important to pick the right ones.
When it comes to personal finance there are lots of risks (and lots of rewards!). Taking a few strategic risks can do wonders for your long-term personal finances. But it’s important to understand the trade-offs.
Almost nothing in the world of personal finance is completely risk free (except maybe a guaranteed deposit with an insured bank) but there are four financial risks that can be worth taking.
If you understand the potential downsides, these financial risks can have a huge positive impact on your finances.