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How to Design a Financial Plan on a Budget?

Updated on August 18, 2016
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Sheila is a kids' author who worked on Wall Street managing money. She loves to share how you can easily increase your net worth too!

Plan the Life of Your Money, So It Doesn't Plan Your Life!

Creating a financial plan on a budget is simple, once you set your mind to it. Decide to hold fast to your money goals! Get command of your finances by first figuring out your income and all your monthly expenses.

Hopefully, when you execute the math, you'll have excess money after you’ve paid all your bills at the close of any given month. If not, you’ll have a bit of homework to do. You must boil down your expenses to lower your monthly expenditure.

Plan the life of your money to make your money work harder for you. Think of innovative ways to reduce your debt and bills.

  • Decide not to use credit.
  • Pay high interest credit cards first.
  • Cut your cable bill by reducing your services.
  • Reduce your electric bill by using light bulbs with fewer watts.
  • Consolidate your credit cards with a lower interest rate card.
  • Hold a garage sale to raise extra funds to pay off your high-interest credit accounts.

Debt is the number-one reason that obstructs the workings of a financial plan. Debt will consume your income and prevent you from laying aside enough money for your future. With debt you will have more bills at the end of the month than money that can be saved. The best financial plan is to eliminate your debt altogether!

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When you plan the life of your money, you'll enjoy the best things!
When you plan the life of your money, you'll enjoy the best things!

You Must Always Pay Yourself First Every Month

After you have found inventive ways to lower your bank notes, you can begin saving by paying yourself first. Most folks find this step hard to do. Except, when you get into the habit of rewarding yourself financially, it'll become comfortable to pay yourself a stipend every week or every month.

  • Regularly set aside money for an investment program, no matter what other financial obligations come up.
  • Make saving and ensuring your financial future your first priority.
  • Adjust your lifestyle, and stay on a strict budget that doesn't create additional debt. You may have to live in a smaller house!

By dwelling in less of a house, your mortgage and bills will be less than what you would pay for a larger house. This will secure sufficient funds for your retirement and extra money to yield off your debt. Why can't your house be paid off?

Have an Emergency, Short-term and Long-term Savings Fund

You’ll need to create three accounts to ensure your future.

  • The first account is an emergency fund. It is a reserved fund in case of an unexpected expense or emergency that will allow you to dip into it in lieu of utilizing a credit card with high rates of interest.
  • Open a short-term saving account with money set aside for large-ticket items such as a car or vacation.
  • Then spread out two long-term savings accounts for your children’s college fund and your tax-deferred retirement savings account.

The easiest way to save money is to put your savings on automatic pilot, by having funds consistently withdrawn from your checking account as soon as you are paid. When you don't see the money in your checking account, you'll won't have a tendency to spend extra money. You’ll easily take and adjust to living on less money.

  • The earlier you begin to invest your money, the more time your money will have to grow . I will grow exponentially with compound interest working for your benefit. The higher the interest rate in your investment fund, the more money you will earn over the long term.

Creating a Financial Plan on a Budget
Creating a Financial Plan on a Budget | Source

Pay Off High Interest Credit Cards First

Get rid of your credit cards one by one as you pay them off. Maintain only one credit card and eliminate high-interest store cards altogether. Though this may hurt, refuse to cosign a loan for someone else. If the person defaults on the loan you'll be held responsible. This will put you in an unforeseen financial pinch, and eventually ruin your relationship with your friend anyway. Thus, why bother cosigning a loan for somebody else?

If you have a household mortgage, accelerate your mortgage loan by making double payments on a periodic basis. This will serve to increase your savings, since you'll be reducing the 'actual cost' of owning your home by thousands of dollars in the long term. This can easily be practiced by adding fifty dollars to your mortgage payment every month. This will create a significant difference in reducing high interest payments when you succeed in paying your mortgage off several years earlier. You can use the same tactic if you have a car loan. Pay off your car loan in the shortest time possible or purchase a used car for cash, so you'll have more money to save in your investment fund.

Remember to pay off your higher interest credit cards first before your lower interest cards. You'll save heaps of money in your financial plan by doing this.

Purchase a Term Life Insurance Policy

Make certain you purchase a term life insurance policy that's capable of covering all your debt, in case you fall off while your children are young, and you still own a mortgage.

Term life insurance policies are far better than a Whole Life Policies, because they are cheaper. The money you would have invested in a whole life policy can go into extra savings.

Confer with a Financial Planner

Make an appointment to confer with a financial planner once a year to make sure your fiscal goals are working well for you. For a reasonable fee, a financial planner will examine your overall financial situation and make practical recommendations. This will set you on the correct path to help reach your financial goals in the shortest amount of time. This is money well spent and allocated!

© 2011 Sheila Craan


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