Do you really know how you're doing financially? Do you have to check your wallet and your bank account on a daily (or even hourly basis) to know how much cash you have? Are you making purchase decisions based on a plan that you know will lead you to financial freedom -- or at least a good night's sleep? Take heart -- you're not alone. Ask a few people to honestly tell you if they have both their business and personal finances in order and at least 80 percent or more will say "not really."
I teach small business owners how to run their business operations more effectively. The key is to become more financially savvy. If you have a handle on your finances, the rest of the business -- managing the people, workflow and your time -- will seem like a walk in the park. Everyone has personal finances, so if you don't own a small business, then use these ideas for your personal life. They apply too!
To have a strong, secure and orderly financial house, you must build it this way:
The foundation of your house is having a money management tracking system. If you don't know what you have, you can't make wise decisions. Your system must be simple, easy and effective to follow. It should create a flow in your life that includes dealing with the paper, paying bills on time, showing you what reality is and saving time and stress at tax time. Ahhh, what a relief... after that, build a wall.
The first wall of your house is to have a plan for the future. Once you have your foundation and your system flows smoothly, begin to concentrate on establishing a budget and forecasting for the future. You will use this as your blueprint for building a stronger house and let it help you with your spending and saving decisions.
The second wall of your house is to know where you are so you can make changes if necessary to your dream home. You must measure not only your financial numbers, but also your operations -- including you!
No house would be complete without a roof, or everything inside can wash away. The roof of your financial house is your discipline. It is critical as you build your foundation and a key factor as you firm up your walls. Once your house is complete, it is way too easy to let up since you think you're done. A strong financial house requires maintenance. You are the manager and steward of your finances. Staying vigilant, mindful and purposeful takes discipline. Use this in every phase of your financial building project to keep your day-to-day flow going smoothly, to review your plan and push yourself with measurable goals!