For successful financial planning, it is critical to understand what you’ve got, how much you make, what you owe, how you spend, and how you are investing for the future. If you have a solid foundation, then a thorough assessment of your position will make that abundantly clear. If you face serious challenges, clearly understanding them will empower you to make adjustments and significantly improve your situation and financial future.
Here is a good, basic checklist of things you should know about your financial life:
- The value of your assets
- The value of your liabilities and debts
- Your net worth (assets minus liabilities)
- How much you spend on a monthly and annual basis – and where you spend it
- How much you earn after tax on a monthly and annual basis
- Your asset allocation
- How much you pay in fees
This isn’t a complete list of items that could influence your long-term financial goals, but it’s a good start. Knowing where you stand will not only help you improve your finances, but you will also feel better emotionally when you have a plan and are in control.
To learn more about this – and 3 steps to managing your money, download the free Personal Capital Guide to a Better Financial Life.
Craig Birk, CFP®
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