This is a guest post by Cara MacMillion (MBA), and it's an honor for me to have her post written on my blog. So the guest post is as below, do enjoy!
Plan-it for the Plan-et: Sustainable Finance for the 21 st Century Family
Go for it!
The biggest mistake people make is inaction. I was recently coaching a couple on setting financial goals. We started the conversation on a warm summer day in 2016. But the couple was still discussing a bad financial decision that they had made in 2006. Somehow, they just decided to stay in 2006 and so they did. And so did their finances.
Treat your finances like a business. Get the emotion out of it. Check your ego at the door and focus on your values and your goals. How long would you stay employed if you refused to move forward and adapt? As an employer, I can tell you I would be setting both of you up on Performance Improvement
Go ahead. Set yourselves up on performance improvement plans.
So here are the first steps of the Financial Performance Improvement Plan:
1. Pair up with a loved one and separately write down your budgets.
2. Write down financial goals that you hope to achieve in the next 90 days. (I.e.; take a vacation, buy a new car, fix the car, paint a room etc)
3. Determine how much each of those goals would cost and add up your wish list.
Now, this last step is the most important. You see, if you are living in the past and you keep reliving that one bad decision then you cannot move forward. So go on a date in a public place. It can be a coffee shop, a restaurant or pub, or even a picnic in the park. Get out of your regular surroundings! You are about to hold a strategic planning session. Executives always move strategic planning sessions outside of their regular work surroundings so that they can change their perspective and their thought patterns. Follow their example!
As you relax, follow an agenda. Give your budget to your partner and you take theirs. Read them alone and make notes. Each takes your turn asking questions respectfully to ensure complete understanding. You will have a complete first draft of your budget. You have each created one and you can now blend the two budgets together into one. You share accountability for the future.
Now dream a bit. Celebrate a bit. Share your wish list in the same manner. Do any of the goals match? If not, that is ok. This is why you cannot move forward. To get past this, you should agree to accomplish one goal from each other’s wish list in the next 90 days. And accomplish it.
Congratulations! You are now working together on your sustainable financial family plan.