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Do You Have a Personal Financial Plan?

Personal financial planning is crucial when organizing your individual financial goals. Setting realistic goals and making a strategy on how to achieve them will ensure your success.
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Wealth Management by 4Thought Financial Group

"The comprehensive wealth management we provide involves the coordination and execution of four different types of financial planning: Investment Planning, Estate Planning, Business Succession Planning and Fringe Benefit Planning."

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Whether you're saving for something important or simply trying to cut down on unnecessary spending, a personal finance plan can help you achieve your goals. It allows you to see where your money goes and find ways to make it work harder for you. Here are some tips for making a personal financial plan for yourself or your family.

Define Your Goals

The first step in making a personal financial plan is to work out what you want out of life. For example, do you dream of watching your kids graduate college? Or is early retirement your number one priority? Perhaps you simply want to get out of debt? Your goal will drive all aspects of your financial plan, so it's important to define it now.

Make a Budget

Once you've defined your goal, you need to start putting money aside so you can make it happen. That means cutting the unnecessary expenses. Begin by tracking your expenses using a spreadsheet or app to find out what you spend money on each month. Once you know what you currently spend, make a plan to cut certain categories, such as food and entertainment. For example, you could start cooking from scratch instead of eating out, or cancel that satellite TV subscription you rarely use.

Create an Emergency Fund

No matter what your long-term goal is, you need an emergency fund to cover situations that pop up unexpectedly. Without an emergency fund, you'll find yourself dipping into your retirement account or taking out a payday loan when your car breaks down, which is an inefficient way to manage your money. Use an instant-access savings account to build up an emergency fund, which should ideally cover between three and six months of living expenses.

Save for Long-term Goals

Once you have an emergency fund in place, it's time to think about the future. Retirement accounts offer an efficient way to put money aside for retirement and have it grow and grow. Many banks also offer long-term savings accounts that you can use to build up a college fund for your child. Whatever your savings priority, it's a good idea to set up your accounts so that a certain percentage of your salary is automatically paid into savings.

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