Let’s Talk About Your Money Map

You Are Here!

When using a GPS in your car to map out a road trip, you must have two pieces of information.  1) You must know your destination – or where you are going. 2) Equally as important as the first piece of information, you must know where you are now.  What is your starting point?  Without knowing your present position and your destination, there’s no way you can map a course. 

 Let’s look at it another way. You go into a shopping mall and you want to go to Macy’s.  You find the mall directory that’s usually stationed at the main entrance.  On the directory you find a little red star that says “You are here!”  Only then can you figure out which direction to go to get to Macy’s.  Otherwise, you might walk the wrong direction and be back out in the parking lot without ever locating the Macy’s store. 

While this is true for mapping out a road trip and finding your way around the shopping mall, it is even more important when mapping out the journey for a successful financial future.  (your money map)

Most People Are Just Hoping

In my career as a financial advisor, Scores of business owners who are successful and who seem to be on top of their game do not know exactly what is coming in and what is going out, more than 90% of people do not know where they stand with their finances. 

This is equally true with individuals who are planning for their financial future.  It’s surprising how few actually know what it takes for them to live, and how much cash flow is available.  It’s important to know what is coming in and what is going out and what is being put away for the future in order create the most favorable conditions to reach your desired destination.  In other words, you must know “where you are now.”

Most people have a little money tucked away in savings; some perhaps have done a little investing; others have an amount of social security they count on; still others may have a pension they know will be coming in.  But none of the numbers are concrete.  For the most part, they are just “hoping” that everything works out all right.  The strategy – if you can call it that is as follows: “I’ve done a little here and a little there.  Now I hope when I get to the time of financial need at some point in the future it will all come together for me.” 

           Bottom Line

 You need to bite the bullet and do the work it takes to create your Money Map now. 

The first step to create your Money Map is to work on two important financial statements, your balance sheet and your Income Statement.  These two statements will give you crucial numbers that show you your assets and liabilities, and more importantly your cash flow.

 This work is not fun for most, and the reality is that most personality types will never do this exercise. 

So, what do you do?

If the thought of working on financial statements makes your skin crawl it’s ok, there are people who love to do this kind of work.  Many of my clients pay a bookkeeper as little as $100 a month to deliver current financial statements on a monthly basis.  The important thing here is that to be successful financially, you need to know your numbers. Delegate the task if it is something that is not your strength. 

 Which is greater the price or the cost of not knowing your numbers?

Knowing your numbers will give you a clear picture that will put you ahead of over 90% of your peers, and will help you map out the path to your definition of a fulfilling financial future based on certainty not luck.

 

 

About Beau Henderson

Beau Henderson is a financial advisor, author, coach, radio personality, and CEO of RichLife Advisors. He has helped over 3,000 clients to not just improve their relationship with money, but to live the life of their dreams.

8 Comments

  1. Susan McKenzie on November 16, 2010 at 11:56 am

    The GPS analogy really hits the subject matter home to me! I’ve not been one to tackle the ‘planning’ aspect of finances. I feel so good to make ends meet from month to month and to see my debt load reduced every month… but to create wealth – to have a plan for that – I fall into the category of “a little here and little there”. I will definitely be paying much more attention to your posts!!!! I really do want to learn how to make a plan that works in an economic time that appears so fragile.



  2. Victoria Gazeley on November 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Nice reminder, Beau! My financial software sadly has not been updated in months… I used to be super diligent about it. Time to get back at it! Thanks for the reminder…



  3. denny hagel on November 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    A common sense approach to a sometimes intimidating subject…thanks for mapping it out in an easy to understand format!



  4. Beau Henderson on November 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks Susan,

    You are ahead of 90% of folks by just being aware that planning is neccessary 😉



  5. Beau Henderson on November 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    That is excellent Victoria!
    I love meeting with those clients that know their numbers. You fall into less than 10% by doing that. Usually it’s a more technical bent personality that will do that work.



  6. Beau Henderson on November 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Hey Denny,

    Just think if we did these basic financial curriculum with our kids before they get out of school….



  7. Sharon on November 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I too love the GPS analogy. Interesting that people will spend more time working out how to get from point A to B for a shopping trip or vacation than plotting their financial future. I agree with your statement that most people are just hoping! I see people living their lives like an ostrich with their head in the sand. I noted a story in a recent blog post I did about a woman featured on CNN who wasn’t concerned about money or spending it. The challenge was that she was either spending other peoples’ money or getting them to front her bills. http://tinyurl.com/2dwjj7y

    She felt that all she had to do was pray about it and all would be well. Then people wonder why they are in a financial mess!! Your instructions on how to get a handle on finding out where our starting point is makes it doable and easy. Thanks for addressing this very important topic.

    Sharon Worsley
    The Life Solutions Expert™
    http://www.sharonworsley.com/blog



  8. Susan Meyerle on November 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    So many times we live with our heads in the sand, not wanting to know what our financial numbers are and yet, the path to financial freedom is knowing where we stand and charting a course to get there. What steps can you take that will put you on the path of where you want to be? Excellent post Beau!



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