What are your goals?
Financial Mapping starts with a simple concept, What goals do you have for your future and your money? Do you have a specific goal you’re trying to reach (buy a house, pay off your debt) or more broad goals, such as saving enough to be financially independent or retire. It doesn’t matter if your goals are big, like FIRE (Financially Independent / Retire Early) or more immediate, like paying off student loans, Financial Mapping can help you see the vision and steps needed to get from here to there. It’s your big picture overview of how you want your money to work for you.
The first step we’ll talk about is your income and any debts that you have. We’ll talk about any assets you have (house, retirement, cash etc) and we’ll talk about your plans in the near and far future and what you’re hoping to achieve. Many people have never thought like this before so it’s possible that your original plans evolve into something else entirely by the end of this process.
I, myself never expected to retire early. I always assumed that retiring early meant living on nothing and I wasn’t interested in a beans and rice retirement just so I could stop working. I love what I do so I kept doing what I was doing. And what I was doing was living on payments. Could I afford the payment? Not the thing I was buying, the payment. I was a payment manager! It wasn’t until I learned more about FIRE that I realized I could have both. I don’t really want to retire early but I want to be ABLE to retire whenever I want, so that money, or my employer, isn’t the first thing driving decisions on how I spend my time. You can say I’m more of an ‘FI’ girl.
Okay so we’ll have an idea of your income and debts, your assets and bills. From there I’ll have an idea of what your money is capable of doing for you and how long it will take you to reach your goals. I’ll have suggestions for ways to tweak the formula to help you get to your goals faster and we’ll figure out how to best manage your money if you either a) don’t have a system now, or b) it’s not working well for you. I love me some Excel but not everyone does so we’ll walk through that together. There are lots of apps out there to help you stay on budget without loads of manual tracking.
I’m also going to have action steps for you to make your relationship with your money a little better. If you are a couple, this will help you both get on the same page with your goals. This is completely customized to your situation so tell me your pain points and I’ll see what I can do for you.
I am not going to cut all the fun from your life. I’m not making a budget for you and telling you to hack out everything except gas money and $12 for groceries every week. You decide where your money goes. You decide how much you want to spend and what is a priority to you. If you want someone to boss you around, I can do that (how fun!) but that is not sustainable long term. It’s your money – just make sure you’re telling it what to do and not letting it fall through the cracks.
My general goals are going to be to get you out of debt first and foremost. I’ll show you how much you’re paying purely in interest and payments per year and I’ll show you what life will look like when all of that is gone. I’ll get you saving for upcoming needs you might have and then we can focus on long-term goals like retirement or perhaps college funds.
I am not going to be suggesting any investments for you or signing you up for insurances or investment accounts. I can help point you to trusted individuals or information but that isn’t my expertise or my passion. I have people for that too.
Finally, just like Planet Fitness, this is a JUDGEMENT-FREE ZONE. I DO NOT CARE how much money you spend or mistakes you’ve made in the past. Everyone has done something stupid with their money a time or two (I’m raising my hand). Don’t let it stop you from changing your future. Now is the time to set a road map for where you want to go. Make that money work for you!