How cash flow plan helped millennial couple stop credit card debt and buy rental property

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Janice is a 32-year-old living in Fresno, California.  She reached out to me for some advice. This was her dilemma, “We make a lot of money, but I have no idea where it all goes.”

I worked with Janice and her husband Davey to create a cash flow plan that helped them, not only stop using credit cards, but also help them to buy a rental property. I’m going to share the five steps you can use to create your own cash flow plan that will help you achieve your dreams — faster.

Too many people fail to realize the importance of planning. If we go to Proverbs 21:5, it tells us “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”

There are a lot of people that are wondering why their finances aren’t being blessed. It’s because God blesses the plan, and without a plan for your money, God has nothing to work with.

Back to Janice and Davey.

Janice wanted security.  Davey wanted to build wealth.  Although they were getting deeper and deeper in credit card debt every month, Davey was still investing in the stock market.  Because their debt was growing faster than their investments, their net worth was going further and further in the negative.

Janice and Davey both had good intentions, but they didn’t have a plan. The result, Davey was investing too much money, causing them to resort to credit cards every month to cover some of their basic expenses.

After we created a cash flow plan, Davey realized he was still able to invest $850 per month.  Also, Janice was happy, because they could finally stop using credit cards. In less than two years, after consistently implementing the plan we created, they were able to buy their first rental property.

Most people don’t like a budget.  They don’t like a cash flow plan. The reason why is they feel like a cash flow plan will only restrict their spending.

In reality, if you use a cash flow plan the right way, it will help you spend on the stuff that matters most to you.

The cash flow plan should help you cut out the stuff you don’t care about, and spend on the stuff you love. If you like to travel, it should be part of your cash flow plan.  If you want to buy a house, it should be part of your cash flow plan. If you don’t care about eating out, then don’t spend money on that. That’s how a cash flow plan should work.

When you create a cash flow plan, you’ll have a clear picture of where all your money is going, instead of wondering where it went.  You’ll know what actions you need to take to achieve your financial goals. 

Do you need to cut expenses?

Do you need to increase your income?

Or do you need to do a little bit of both? 

A cash flow plan will help you make decisions about major life changes.  For example, can you make that big move right now? Can you quit your job?  Is now the best time to have kids?

Now that you know why a cash flow plan is so important, here are the five steps you can use to create a cash flow plan that will help you build wealth.

1. Record All Income

First, you want to make sure you get a record of all your income.  You want to list all your gross income — before any taxes or any deductions.  You want to record income from a job, from a side hustle, or any other income you have coming in. 

The goal is to get a list of all your income in one place.

2. Record All Expenses

The second step is to get a record of all your expenses.  You want to list all your expenses. You can use your bank statements and pay stubs.  You want to include taxes and payroll deductions as an expense.

You may be surprised when you examine some of your payroll deductions.  There have been times when I’ve reviewed expenses with a client and they discover they’re paying for benefits they don’t even need.

3. Categorize All Expenses

Now, after you’ve gathered all your income, and you’ve gathered all your expenses, the third step is to categorize all your expenses.  Categorizing your expenses will make it easier to see what items you’re wasting money on, or what items you may want to cut.

Here’s a list of some categories you can use: giving, housing, transportation, food, utilities, medical, insurance, savings, taxes, and discretionary.  Discretionary should include entertainment, clothing, and all your personal needs.

4. Create Positive Cash Flow

You know all your income, you know all your expenses, and you’ve categorized your expenses so you know what areas you can attack.  Next, you want to make adjustments to create positive cash flow.

It’s good to look at at least two months of income and expenses to get a more realistic idea of where you actually stand.  Usually, the best way to save money, the fastest, is to reduce expenses in these categories: housing, transportation, and debt.

Those three categories alone can help you easily save $1,000 per month.

The goal here is to make sure you have a positive cash flow and ensure you’re able to consistently save money. 

5. Review Plan Weekly

The fifth, and probably the most important step, is to review the plan each week.  Yes, it’s nice to create a plan, in fact, you’ve probably created two or three in your life, but it doesn’t work unless you actually use it.  The right way to use the plan is to look at it each week to make sure you are following that plan.

There are lots of people using technology to track expenses, but the goal here is to stop tracking and actually start dictating.  You want to review each week and make sure you are sending the money where it’s supposed to go. Tracking forces you to react after the money is already gone. 

If you review your plan each week, you can make decisions that will keep you on track before it’s too late. I can’t stress this enough. The goal of the plan is to tell the money where to go, not to look back and wonder where it went.

Start Watch Free Video Series

I really want to help you get your finances in order. To help you, I created a free video series titled Bible Money Makeover. The first video will walk you through how to get out of debt. The second video talks about how you can increase your income.  The third video teaches you a little more about investing.

Here is a link to the video series: https://financialseeds.net/bible-money-makeover-4/

Let Me Help You Develop Your Personal Financial Plan

If you’re serious about achieving important financial goals in your life go to Greenfinancialsolutions.net and learn about our financial planning service.  

We will help you create a cash flow plan, we’ll do a goals assessment with you, we have strategies for helping you increase income, we have money-saving strategies for you, we’ll review your employer benefits with you to see how you can save money there, we’ll do a tax review with you to see how you can reduce your tax liabilities, and we even give insurance recommendations so that you could protect the people you love.

Again, you can visit Greenfinancialsolutions.net to learn more about the financial planning service.

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