Clean out your financial junk drawer and get organized with tips from Shane Tenny, CFP®, and Managing Partner of Spaugh Dameron Tenny, LLC.
SHANE TENNY: Do you have one of those drawers in your kitchen that's full of paper clips and extra pens and random business cards and maybe even an unmatched sock? It's basically the junk drawer, right? Well, when you find something laying around, you don't know where else to put it, it goes in that drawer.
You know, we've found over the years that our financial lives can often look the same way. In the practice that I work in as a financial planner, we often meet folks who have had really good intentions and wanted to make smart decisions, so they've opened accounts to save for the future. They've bought different kinds of insurance, but they've never really had an overarching plan. And so they just kind of accumulate different products or policies with no real concept of how they're going to work together to move you towards your goals.
That sound familiar? If you're in a situation like this, what do you do to bring some organization and begin assembling the pieces into a plan? I've got three ideas today, and the first step is not to open the drawer and dump all the contents on the ground and try to start sorting it out. The first step is actually to set aside some time to think about what's important to you, either with your spouse or with your significant other, or by yourself.
Find some time to sit and write down your goals. Have you ever done that before? Because now would be a great time. Where do you hope to be financially in two years? How about ten years? Maybe ask yourself this question. If I could learn anything about finances and money, I'd really like to better understand, fill in the blank.
This is really important. Getting clarity around your goals is always beneficial, and only after you've done that, then step two becomes viable and that is inventory your financial stuff. Now it's time to open the drawer, so to speak. Get out a piece of paper and start by making a list of everything you own. House, car savings account, retirement accounts. Don't forget insurance policies that you might own, life insurance, disability insurance.
And then on another piece of paper make a list of everything you owe. Student loans, mortgage, car loan, etc. This will really help you see clearly what you've accumulated and what you're working with. And then finally, step three is compare your goals from the first step with the questions and the information you have from the second step. And often looking at these two lists in close proximity can really help you see where changes might be helpful.
Sometimes you'll need more of something like monthly net income or an emergency fund or maybe insurance to protect your family. Sometimes you'll need less of something to meet your goals less debt or less idle cash sitting around doing nothing. Of course, if you're now looking at the list of your goals and questions and the inventory from your financial junk drawer and you don't know what to do, it might be time to call in some help.
You know, this is what financial planners do for a living. We help align your decisions with your goals to help you get on track for the future that you want. And if you're not sure who to turn to, then I'd humbly submit the good folks at Spaugh Dameron Tenny may be just the right ticket for you.
You can simply drop us a line. Will be happy to answer any questions you have to see if we can be of help with your financial junk drawer. Not that mess in your kitchen. We'll talk to you next time.
Shane Tenny is the managing partner of Spaugh Dameron Tenny. Along with hosting the Prosperous Doc® podcast, Shane has a true passion for behavioral finance, helping clients and audiences understand how to develop successful strategies based on their unique temperaments. An accomplished and highly engaging speaker, Shane is regularly interviewed for television and podcasts, is actively involved in the Financial Planning Association®, and contributes to industry advisory boards.