Financial Planning When You’re Not a Planner

10/13/2021 4 minute read

Learn some important financial planning considerations when planning does not come naturally.

Money Habits: How They Form And How To Break Them

A lot goes into planning your finances. Setting spending plans. Making goals. But what do you do when you’re not a natural planner, especially when it comes to financial planning? If you’re reading this, you’re in the right place.

1. Create a spending plan.
Knowing where your money is going is the first step to creating a plan.  Our spending plan worksheet is a great way to get started by creating an awareness of all of your expenses.  Once you know where your money is going, you can plan for how you want to use it in the future.


2. Make small goals. Then, make bigger ones.
Your financial situation won’t change overnight. It probably won’t even change much over the next month. But it can change over time. Start by making small goals that you can accomplish on a daily or weekly basis first. That could mean cutting back on entertainment or dining expenses—or just saving electricity to cut back utility costs so you can put that money into savings. Then, challenge yourself to bigger goals like starting a separate savings account just for emergencies or buying a new car that gets better gas mileage. Write a ‘due date’ on a post-it note to hold yourself accountable. (See step 4 for what to do when you achieve your goal.)


3. Expect unexpected expenses.
No matter how much planning you do, you can always plan for this: unexpected expenses. Flat tires, doctor visits, new uniforms—there’s always something that pops up. Do your best to grow enough financial slack to be ready for whatever comes next. It might take some time to get there and that’s okay. Once you have some slack, keep it going. Try to grow more and more slack every month until you’re not as worried about unexpected expenses popping up.


4. There are no wrong questions.
Should you pay down your debt or add to your savings? Is it a good time to buy a house? What’s PMI? No matter how big or small your questions are, come by and chat with us. We’re here to help you answer all those questions and more.


5. Celebrate the wins.
It’s good to be more proactive with your financial planning. But it’s not good to only focus on how you can get better. If you do steps 1-4, you’ll have already done a lot to improve your planning skills. That’s good! Celebrate your accomplishments by doing things you enjoy. You’ve earned it.

It can all start with a conversation.  Let’s talk it out together. Come into a Financial Health Center to talk with a Member Relationship Specialist to get a better understanding of your unique financial situation—and where you can go from here.  We’re here to help you be a better planner and celebrate those wins with you along the way.


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