Dear Smart Money People,
I have been teaching and coaching people on personal finance for a few years. I have come to realize it is highly personal, hence the name, personal finance.
Bill and I were avid Dave Ramsey followers, and still do stick closely to his principles, however, we have adopted habits, routines and rituals that reflect who we are, our goals and our lifestyle. Our personal goals.
Here is what I have learned, drumroll please, – I don’t think there is one way to manage money. And there you have it.
I DO think it is important to know what your goals are. I have an exercise below that you can use to determine what you are aiming for and it may help you organize yourself.
Here is what I think about when it comes to money, I think about my past, what could have gone better. My present life – what is working, what could be better and what could use attention stat. Lastly, my future. What do I want to be able to do in 5 or 10 or 30 years from now?
If you fast-forward 10 years, what does your life look like? Where in the world are you living, do you have a family, how is your health, are you living in the same house, do you still have debt or a car payment, have you taken any vacations that you were so happy you had the opportunity to do, are you still working at the same job? Same marital squabbles?
Write a letter to your future self, describing what your life is like. Tell yourself all of the things that you have done and what you are proud of, what you’ve learned, what you are happy you did.
Use this to see what is possible for you and your future. If your letter has you glowing about the debt you’ve paid off and the vacations you’ve taken your family on and the mortgage-free home you are living in, then you can look at what you can do TODAY to begin on that journey.
The journey is personal. It may not have any of the things I mentioned.
Here is my letter to myself:
I am so proud of the life Bill and I are leading. The kids have both graduated from college debt free and are doing amazing in their chosen businesses. We have taken our annual family vacations 3 to 4 times each year. Our favorite was our amazing vacation to Greece and our mission trip Guatemala we had been planning for a long time.
We have a paid off home and enjoy running our own businesses. We are healthy and happy. We have time and money to do what we want. Our typical day is exercise, breakfast together, planning our day, preparing meals, reading, reviewing our investments and upcoming business commitments and one on one time growing our marriage. We enjoy traveling for personal and professional commitments. Our kids come home often as we all still love being together as a family. I’ve learned that keeping small commitments to our goals every day has lead us to an incredible life. Working hard every day, especially when I did not want too, was the key to our success. Never giving up.
I am in a mentoring group with wonderful inspiration women and I am energized every day!
Our parents are in good health and live independently.
Well Done Karen!!
Your life is everything I hoped it would be!!
Now you may think it is corny, and it is a little bit, BUT if you can envision what you want you can make decisions today that help you get where you want to go.
Here are some examples of goals that people have:
- Debt free
- Start own business
- Own a really nice car
- Mortgage free home
- Become a writer
- Work part-time
- Do mission work
- Start a family
- Learn to ski
- Learn a new language
Think about what you want and write yourself a letter.
This is your story and once you are aware of it, you can organize your finances around it. Because it is personal. And you deserve a great life.
You’ve got this!!
Cheering you on all the way!!
Karen & Bill