You’ve probably heard this one before, but let’s bring some reality to the topic of creating an emergency fund. An emergency fund is simply a pile of cash that we keep safe and available in case we need it.
If your goal is to do everything you want in life and die with at least a dollar in your bank account, or whatever amount you want to leave to your kids, then there is a simple equation that will tell you if you are on the right track.
Just like exercise, a little bit of financial health is much better than none. Finances can be overwhelming when we try to think of all areas at once. We know it is important to have all areas of our financial lives working together, but it is simply too scary to do it all at once.
Would you ever go to a Toyota dealer and ask a salesman whether you should buy a Toyota, a Ford or a Mercedes? Of course not. The Toyota salesman is paid to sell Toyotas so we already know what his answer will be.
What is Financial Planning? I like to think about it in a very simple way. You need to have clarity in your finances before you can have control. Once you have control, you can be very intentional.
The things you do and buy that do not follow your friends and neighbors are more likely to reflect your true values and purpose in life. And that’s what we want your money to do.
Think back to your time in school. Where did you think your life was headed? Has that come true? Now think back just five years and again, where did you think your life was headed?
It might seem strange that I would suggest this given I don’t even know what your Financial Plan is, or even if you have one. But hear me out.
If one of your goals is to maintain or increase your lifestyle, doesn’t it seem logical that you should know how much your lifestyle costs?
A lot of people like to use rules of thumb with their finances. Don’t fall for that. You are not average. No one is.
Let’s please agree on something. “More money” is not a goal. Money is simply a tool that allows us to do the things we want to do in life. More money certainly helps but only if you have a higher objective.
When you die, what happens to the money and things that you own? Who will take care of your kids? If you are on life support, what decisions do you want to be made? Who will help manage your finances if you are incapacitated?