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Financial Basics

Financial Innovations, LLC welcomes the opportunity to help clients achieve both their financial and emotional goals.

To begin the process, you need to develop specific financial goals, create a savings plan to meet the goals, and establish a date for reaching your goals. At first these goals may seem unobtainable, but as you continue the planning process, you can evaluate and make the necessary adjustments, if any are required.

Next, you need to understand your current financial position. Track your income and expenses to create a cash flow statement for the year. This is probably the hardest area for most people and the most important area in your financial planning. To calculate your net worth, create a balance sheet that lists the value of all of your assets and the total of all that you owe. You should update these statements yearly.

Once you have established your income and expenses, it is time to develop a budget. The objective of your budget is to identify opportunities to increase your income and/or reduce your expenditures so that you have the savings necessary to meet your personal financial goals. This is the foundation of a healthy financial plan.

If your savings fall short at first, do not despair. Look for ways to reduce your taxes. Analyze your debt to see if it can be consolidated into a lower interest rate loan, perhaps through a home equity loan. Review your consumption and spending patterns. Would the achievement of your financial goals be worth driving an older automobile? Are you shopping because there is a sale, or because you really need something at the store? Are you looking for the best prices, or just buying an item the first time you see something you like? What current expenses can you reduce or eliminate?

By getting your finances in order, you will maximize the funds available to save and invest toward your goals. You then will know if your goals are realistic, or if you will need to modify them for the present financial situation. All financial plans are moving targets and subject to change.

Keep working at the process so you can stay on top of your financial situation and reset your goals as opportunities arise.