Financial planning is often not at the top of anyone's list of fun activities. But with positive outcomes such as less stress and more money being tied to managing your personal finances, financial planning should take a couple of jumps up on your “to-do” list.
I’m breaking down 5 ways organizing your finances can literally pay off now and for years to come.
1. Gives you control. When your finances are organized, you have 100% control over your money instead of your money having 100% control over you. Only you will truly care the most about your money, because you know how hard you worked for it. Hence, it only makes sense that you should decide what to do with your money and when—not the other way around. One of the ways to get organized is to use a software such as YNAB or Mint that helps you see expense input and output, and get your budget organized. And this control is the key to ensuring these next 4 payoffs are part of the success of your overall financial plan.
2. Helps you make MORE money! That's right: The more you save and invest, the more money you’ll make just by being organized. It’s all about interest. When you pay interest, which is often a result of disorganized finances, not only will you waste money on those interest charges, but you’ll also feel like you’re in financial bondage to all that interest you’re accruing day after day, and year after year. When you earn interest instead, your money will be paying you day after day. Investing money = interest money in YOUR pockets and accounts, not interest going to credit cards or billing companies. As many experts have said, compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.
3. Relieves stress. Since you’ll know 1) what your expenses are each month, 2) what your income is each month, and 3) where every single penny of your money is kept (checking account, savings account, money market accounts, retirement accounts, etc.), you won’t have to feel the stress and anxiety of not knowing anything about your money. Everything can be automated and easily budgeted. And there will be no surprises like overdrafts fees, collections, overdue bills, or huge credit card and other debts—all of which can also lower your credit score (creating even more stress), and severely affecting your future spending options.
4. Helps you save for the future. Whether it's for going on that dream beach vacation, buying a house, putting your kids through college, starting a business, retiring sooner rather than later (more about this below), and so many other possibilities, these possibilities can actually become realities when your finances are organized. When you have a clear picture of your financial situation, you’ll know what money is extra, which allows you to save and invest that money, knowing that your financial obligations are being taken care of AND that you can fulfill those dreams that involve your money now and for years to come.
5. Makes retirement possible. When your finances are organized, it’s possible to not only retire, but to possibly retire sooner AND with more assets to help you enjoy your “golden” years. And since the average life expectancy is getting longer and longer, you’ll want to make sure you have enough in your retirement accounts so paying the bills AND enjoying retirement won’t be constant worries for you and your loved ones. Once finances are organized, it can also open up more options such as choosing to live a very frugal lifestyle to FIRE (financially independent/retire early), FatFIRE or just be financially independent with no plans for retiring. The key is to make sure you are prepared and plan ahead so that you can enjoy your post-work life!
While the process of getting your finances organized is not a one-step task, putting forth the effort can pay off—both literally and figuratively—in some pretty huge ways. Taking one baby step after the other will help you get to your goals, and the payoffs will be more rewarding than you can imagine!