Focused Financial Planning


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It’s Bonfire night tonight and there is a definite autumnal feel to the air. Although things are going to be a bit different without the organised events, I’m sure many will still take the opportunity to tidy up the garden and get rid of things that aren’t needed. 

So, what has this got to do with financial planning, your business or for you personally? It’s a time of preparation for the year ahead, the best time to plant those bulbs for a beautiful display in springtime. Just like the gardens need to be prepared now if they are going to flourish next year, you need to think about your financial situation now so you can benefit from the success later.  By gathering your financial information together, you will be able to make informed decisions for the future. Perhaps consider a brainstorming session with someone else to make a focused financial plan. Believe me, financial planning will make you more successful.

Hi, I’m Anna Goodwin – Author of five books, Director, Mentor and Trainer for Anna Goodwin Accountancy.

Basically, I take the stress out of finances – both business and personal. From running my own business and helping others to run theirs, I know it’s important for individuals and businesses to take time to plan financially for their own future.

Yesterday, I was reminded of the importance of planning during my annual update with my Independent Financial Advisor (IFA).  Usually we meet face to face but it was a bit different this year as it was over the phone.

Usefully, he sent me with an agenda for our session. This provided me with a focus so that I could gather my thoughts as well as any necessary paperwork prior to our meeting:

The Financial Planning Agenda

  • Update on my circumstances
  • A review of what’s happened in the past year and goals achieved
  • My objectives for the next 12 months.
  • An update of how my investments are performing
  • An agreement of next year’s actions

These are all things you could pull together yourself to create your own financial plan.

I use a similar structure when I work with clients on their financial planning, as I did with a female client this week.

In a previous mentoring session, we had concentrated on how much needed to be saved and invested on a monthly basis to hit her goals of wanting to have a property portfolio.  We took these into account in the financial planning. As we had set out what was going to be discussed in the session a week beforehand, she was prepared with the right paperwork and knew what she wanted to ask. She found being able to ask questions and float ideas very beneficial and got a lot more out of the session as a result.

Investing and saving is a frequent priority for my clients in their financial plan. However, you first need to ensure that it is the right time for you to start saving. Here is a slide from my Mastering your personal finances training course, emphasising the best time to start thinking about saving and investing:

When should I add savings to my financial plan?

  • I am in control of my monthly expenditure and pay my bills in total each month. 
  • There is money left over at the end of each month.
  • I have paid of small debts and have started paying off larger debts. 

You need to say yes to all of these questions. 

t’s easy to put planning your personal future off for a rainy day that never seems to arrive!  Whatever age you are it is a good idea to give it some thought. Working with someone else will give you the motivation to get it done and lessen the fear of having to do it all on your own!

So, as the days start to get shorter and we move towards winter, think about what you need to put in place now.  In the same way as the bulbs are being planted ready to be vibrant next year, wouldn’t it be great for you to have your own personal finance plan coming into fruition?

Next week, I will concentrate on the benefits of having and giving mentoring.