Monday, November 28, 2011

A Fearless Financial Inventory Is Part Two of The Blueprint for Financial Success

financial goalsImage by dfbiz via FlickrBy Jim R Munchbach

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending"
- Famous Life Quote

The Blueprint isn't magical, and it isn't strange. It's a straightforward look at the essential elements of an effective financial plan, and it prepares you to take steps to accomplish your financial life goals and fulfill your dreams.

In part two of the Blueprint, you take a fearless financial inventory. Be rigorously honest and make an accurate assessment. When I work with clients, I ask them to bring every piece of information that has to do with their money: bank statements, IRAs, 401k's, other investments, mortgage information, auto loans, credit card balances and other debts, and all sources of income and a copy of the budget if they have one.

One client asked me if he should include some family debts. That's a good question, and one that's not easily answered. Many people fail to list money they've borrowed from family members as debts they owe. Somehow, they seem to think it doesn't really count-and it doesn't if they don't intend to repay it, except in their consciences.

John and Krista are in their early 30s with two small children. Both of them worked until their first child was born. Krista put her career on hold to be at home, but their income, of course, was cut in half. When they came to see me, they realized they needed to put together an effective financial plan so they could provide for their family. First, they articulated what matters most. They told me that they have two passions: their family and their volunteer work at a food pantry.

The next step for John and Krista was to take a fearless financial inventory. As you can imagine, in order for their plan to be effective, they had to get everything out on the table before we could attempt to hammer out meaningful financial goals. Suddenly, they realized they had to make some decisions-some hard decisions-about what's most important to them. They quickly understood that they couldn't do everything they'd ever wanted to do but they would be able to meet their most important goals.

As we finished the financial planning process, I asked the same question I always ask: When you achieve your most important financial life goals, what will that feel like?

Jim Munchbach became a Certified Financial Planner in Houston, Texas, where he offers financial workshops in his community. His extensive experience with clients following disasters like the Northridge Earthquake, Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Ike and dozens of other catastrophes has taught Jim the tremendous value of planning-before the unexpected happens. Jim wrote Make Your Money Count because he believes good money management is a discipline that builds financial, emotional, as well as spiritual muscle.

With gripping and heart-warming stories, Jim highlights powerful principles that provide clarity and a strong sense of direction in the journey to success, significance, and satisfaction.

Contact Jim today at http://www.makeyourmoneycount.org/contact.php

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