If you were embarrassed by that question, don’t be. More people should actually ask and more personal finance gurus should stop assuming that everybody knows! Personal finance deals with your individual relationship with money. It serves as your financial outline; speaking to the way you obtain, budget, save, spend and manage monetary resources overall. These behaviors are assessed at various stages throughout your lifetime, taking into account a mixture of financial risks, as well as major life events like getting your first job or getting married.
Some of the major components of personal finance may include checking and savings accounts, credit cards, consumer and student loans, investment principles, income tax management and much more depending on which phase of life you are in. Despite which stage you fall into at any given time in your life, a positive relationship with money forces you to continuously assess the questions: “How much money and financial assets do I possess today?”, “How much money will I need at various points in the future?” and “How do I go about getting that money in the present?”
These questions are the foundation for creating a personal financial plan. The most basic plan will always include these five steps:
1. Assessment: Where are you now?
2. Goal Setting: Where do you want to be?
3. Creating a Plan: How will you get there?
4. Execution: Taking action and making it happen.
5. Re-Assessment: Repeating the process regularly.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t you have a plan to get started on? It doesn’t have to be a hard and difficult process. Take a minute to answer the questions above. Everything may not fall into place over night, but faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Start where you are!
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