The Roots of the Financial Planning Tree
A few weeks ago I wrote about the 4 W’s of budgeting. That post was an overview of the WHY, WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN of budgeting. It was a quick look at the purposes for budgeting from the outside. It didn’t answer the question of HOW I do my business budget. It is important to understand the underlying reasons or there is no motivation to prepare or maintain a plan. So we will peel off another layer of the onion and get closer to the process of HOW.
This morning as I was reviewing my schedule and once again trying to figure out how best to spend time, I had a thought…time and money both need to be managed and spent well. Both of them have a major role in achieving our dreams and need to be budgeted.
We can’t see into the future so we can’t know in advance how much of either of these, (time or money) it will take. What we can do is use information from our past and plan for the future. The hard part is maintaining the present. We need to be aware of where we are and be intentional in our actions using what we know from the past and what we want for our future, otherwise we just wander through life.
Dreaming about the future –
If you haven’t determined where you want to go, how will you ever get there? Growing up watching my Dad farm, that was what I dreamed of doing. I started in that direction without much of a plan (okay none) and then something unexpected happened…my Dad died. If his death wasn’t enough, the waves that it created completely changed my future. Granted there is no amount of planning that could have prepared me for his death, but the right plan would have served as a life preserver until the waves subsided. Instead my ability to dream was drowned. I went through years with no clear destination or direction. Then several years later I had a dream resuscitating incident. I fell while working on a second floor. I was unconscious for three days. After regaining consciousness and while recovering, I realized that God wasn’t done with me yet and I still had things to do and dreams to achieve. I think that when I hit the ground the impact must have restarted my ‘dream heart’. The point of this is the underlying importance of dreams. Having a plan can serve as a life preserver.
I have always been a planner by nature. For years there was no purpose behind the planning. Dreams are what give the planning a purpose. My dreams now are big, more like they used to be. Things like; being debt free, renovating our home, traveling, owning rental property, flying my own plane and owning a NASCAR team…to mention a few. Everyone’s dreams will be different, but this will be the motivation behind the plan.
Okay now we have a reason for making plans. How much money and time are needed to achieve your dreams? Break each one down, what is it going to cost to get out of debt or buy that NASCAR team?
If my debt is $100,000.00, how am I going to pay it off? How long is it going to take? How much do I currently earn?
I will peel another layer in a later blog and we continue to go deeper. Until then what are your dreams?