Getting your personal finances in order can be a challenge any time. With today’s economy, personal finances present an even greater challenge.
A Money Matters workshop in Thomson offered financial advice for those participating.
Before starting a business or purchasing a home, it’s essential that you get your personal finances in order. Money management starts at home and involves more than simply making ends meet. Effective money managers develop and practice a variety of skills that carry over to the business. Falling short in any of these areas poses a potential threat to the long-term success of you and your financial goals.
Setting goals keeps you focused on what’s most important to you, your family and your business. Planning your spending helps you avoid wasteful spending so you stay on track. Using financial institutions in your community can open doors to help you start your business.
Understanding credit will help you to improve your credit score, which lowers the cost of borrowing.
Planning for the unexpected makes it easier to weather financial difficulties when they arise – and they will. Protecting your assets, the things you own, is essential to your long-term financial well-being. Improving your personal financial situation by practicing these skills has other benefits, too. Everyone has heard the expression “it takes money to make money.” Together, these skills help to save money for your goals and increase your access to credit. Your household budget provides a great opportunity to develop and practice the skills you will need to manage your business finances.
The workshop focused on the basics and getting participants started on the path toward becoming an effective chief financial officer at home and with a business.
Resources such as time, money and personal energy are limited. You will never have more than 24 hours in a day. Even Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have to make choices about how to spend their time and money. To guide decisions about how you spend both your time and money, you need SMART goals and clear priorities.
Your goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound. “I want to start my own business” is a dream, not a goal. “I will save $5,000 by January 2014 to start my landscaping business” might be a goal. It’s specific, measurable, actionable and time-bound. It is realistic if you can afford to set aside the monthly amount needed to reach your goal by the deadline. If the amount you need to save each month is more than you can afford, the goal is not realistic and needs to be revised.
Chances are you need to work toward multiple goals at the same time. When you have multiple goals you will need to set priorities by deciding which goals are the most and least important. Goals and priorities guide your spending decision. Without them you might think you can spend money left over at the end of the month for that iPad you want. The more important your goal is to you, the easier it is to say “no” to spending temptations.
Workshop participants included aspiring entrepreneurs, those desiring to purchase a home, and others desiring to learn more about personal finances. The free Money Matters Workshop will be held in Warrenton on Tuesday, March 27. Call the Extension Office at (706) 465-2136 to register.