To have enough money not only for daily expenses but also for a trip to the sea, you need a financial plan. And not for a week, but for a year. If you are frightened by the thought of endless calculations, we hasten to reassure you. A financial plan isn’t to track every penny and save endlessly. This is an effective tool for spending. Let’s see how the plan will help you get more for your money. Estimate future income from different sources. This can be a salary and bonus, passive income from renting out your home, fees for part-time work, a jackpot at the Vave Casino, and tax deductions. Write in the amounts you have left after taxes.
Developing a Financial Plan: Step-by-Step Instructions
Most people plan their finances only for a month. However, this strategy isn’t as effective as an annual one. A sound financial plan is like a training and nutrition program: you can’t get fit in 30 days. To achieve visible, stable results, it’s important to play for the long term.
There is another similarity: both training and financial plans have long-term, medium-term, and short-term goals.
- Short-term goals usually include goals that take two years or less to accomplish. This could be planning a trip or renovating an apartment.
- Medium-term goals are those that take two to five years to accomplish. It can be buying a car or starting a business with your own money that you have accumulated during this period of time.
- Long-term goals include things that take longer than 5 years. For example, earning passive income or closing a mortgage.
Where to Start Creating a Plan
Plan Your Expenses
Write out your major and additional expense items. The main ones are those that don’t change over the years: rent and utilities, groceries, household goods, clothing, medications, mortgage payments, gasoline, and car maintenance. Additional expenses are clothes for winter or dental treatment.
This way, you can get an approximate amount of spending per day and month. Figures may differ at different times of the year. For example, utility bills are usually more expensive in the winter.
Summarize Income and Expenses
Analyze the data: check whether the expenses exceed the income. If they do, think about how you can cover the budget deficit. For example, refuse optional expenses like going to a cafe or buying jewelry. Ideally, after all your spending, you should still have a free amount that will be used to achieve your financial goals.
Set Financial Goals
Formulate and write down financial goals, in other words, what you will save part of your income for.
Goals can be formed based on the amount of free money and your needs. For example, to create a financial safety cushion for vacations, repairs, or early repayment of the loan. Write down what percentage of your earnings you will save for each of the goals, and try to stick to this rule.
Plan for Force Majeure
Risk management is a new step in budget planning, and not every beginner will approach it.
Calculate how your annual budget and goals will change if you find yourself in a difficult situation and your income drops. Make a plan B so that, in case of force majeure, you will understand how to rebuild your life and what to give up first.
However, force majeure isn’t the only thing that can make you reconsider your budget and financial goals. When you have the whole picture in front of you, you can think about important life issues. For example, is a vacation by the sea really important to you, or can you spend this money to pay off a loan? Maybe you should sell your car and take the subway to work? Which is more important: a new renovation or tuition? Should you reevaluate your wage expectations and look for a new job?
This perspective helps you evaluate goals, calculate risks, and afford more. For example, save for a car or a down payment on a mortgage.
For any plan to work, it’s important not to stray from it. That’s why it’s worth introducing budgeting into your routine. Choose a time and make regular adjustments to the plan, try to avoid deficits. If you notice an overspend, use the money available to cover it.