There are so many things we have to keep up with today that we can get lost. We have to stay up with the current trends like, “#CashMeOutside #HowBowDah” or the doing the mannequin challenge; it feels like we are on a roller coaster that gains speed as the ride keeps going. Sometimes, my head feels like it’s on this never ending merry-go-round, and I am so dizzy and my mind is so scattered.
Raise your hand if you feel like that occasionally! (JK you don’t have to, but if you did that’s okay) Glad I am not the only one!
The inside of my brain is like the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and her house get sucked up in the tornado. You see all kinds of random things up there… the mean old neighbor lady on her bicycle that took Dorothy’s dog, the grandma in the rocker, and the random cow. Like why the cow? I will never understand it.
Glad we had this discussion, I’m weird. I accept that. Moving on…
So before we dive into this whole thing, can I ask you something? When you think about the big milestones in your life that you want to achieve, how do plan to reach them? Food for thought
In my life, so far, I have made some pretty big financial decisions like, buying my first car, applying for student loans (EW, worst thing of all time), and creating a financial plan to buy a house in the next couple of years. For only being 22, I feel like I am doing something right with my life. I think.
So what does this year hold for you, financially? Buying a new house? Buying a new car? Sending your first child off to college? Are you financially prepared? No?
Guess what? You are not the only one, and that is alright. So you’re probably asking yourself, “Where do I start?”
Let’s create a starting point; we’ll call it point A. Sound good?
Point A – The 5-Year Forecast:
Write down what you want to achieve in the next 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years. Now remember, these all have to deal with finances in some way. For example, a 6 month goal is to buy a new car, a 1 year goal is to pay off a loan, and a 5 year goal is to purchase a new home. These are pretty common goals in a person’s life.
Now your goals may be different from the example above, but try to narrow down your goals for each period to just one. I find that people get overwhelmed if there are too many goals in one period.
A little side note: When I did this a couple years ago, this was one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life. Just having a visual for your goals is all the determination you will ever need. Moving on…
Okay, now you have your list… Write down how you plan to accomplish them within the time frame given. If you have no idea how to start, don’t worry! Don’t panic! I am here to help you with that.
This is where you utilize your financial institution to create a pathway for achieving your goals. I started my ‘point A’ with a free credit review at my credit union. This allowed me to see what my credit history looked like, what my credit score was, and this allowed my personal banker and I to develop a financial pathway to reach my 6 month, 1 year and I’m currently on track to reach my 5 year goal.
Starting this way has paid off tremendously. I have bumped up my credit score by at least 200 points and as a result, I was able to purchase my first car with a really low interest rate! I was also able to consolidate my debt so that I can save money and created a financial pathway to purchasing my first home in the next couple of years as well.
I know starting all of this can be extremely nerve wracking, but trust me, you can do this. You totally got this! Anything new, anything unknown, and anything that is against the norm can deter us away from what we truly want. You just have to run full force into the unknown. I tripped along the way, but I got back up and I am still going.
Once you know your credit history and score, you’re ready to start down the path. You now have the knowledge.
Like I said,
Knowledge is power.