Plan and budget to achieve financial freedom in your lifetime

Setting financial goals and sticking to them is important.
Setting financial goals and sticking to them is important.
Image: 123RF

Planning is required for most tasks in life, especially if you want to be successful. We even have to plan our journey to work these days. The key to your success is your willingness to act to make your plan a reality.

Most of us dream about becoming financially independent one day. Financial freedom is when you have built up enough assets to generate income to cover your living costs for the rest of your life. This is the moment you can choose to work for fun and not for money.

If you want financial freedom, start by deciding what is important to you and then set goals to achieve this objective. Some people want to be financially free at age 40, whereas others are comfortable retiring at age 60. Some people never want to stop working.

It is important to realise that every decision you make now has an impact on your future.

If you buy the economical hatchback car and not a sports car, you will have more money to invest for future goals that may include holidays, education or a property.

Ultimately, this will affect the age that you reach financial freedom. The more you spend on funding your current lifestyle, the less you will have to allocate to these goals.

The key is to live within your means every single month of the year. Many get stuck at this hurdle, as they spend more than they earn. Draw up a budget and stick to it! Without living your budget, it is only a meaningless piece of paper.

Once your spending is contained, plan ahead. There is a saying, "failing to plan is planning to fail". This is true for your financial life too. Consult a suitably qualified financial planner to assist you with a financial plan. Updating this plan annually to include any change in your circumstances is very important.

A good financial planner should be able to advise you how to achieve your goals. He or she should work with you to be able to make financially sound decisions and assist you to implement your plan.

We can be our own worst enemy and a good financial planner should be able to coach you how not to wreck your plans.

It is important to understand the reasons why your financial planner is making recommendations. If you don't understand, ask questions!

Once you understand the thinking behind the recommendations, you should be comfortable with the plan and then there is a good chance that you will stick to the game plan.

Remember to choose a person who is suitably qualified, trustworthy and someone with whom you can share your fears, financial secrets and other personal information.

This includes potential relationship issues, problems at work and black tax obligations. Any information you withhold is likely to be excluded from the plan and this will make it incomplete.

Your relationship with your planner is a long-term partnership, so choose the right partner to assist you on this journey.

Happy financial planning!

• Mei is a financial planner at Verso Wealth

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