Checklists can help for all large life goals. They help by providing milestones, and by breaking down that seemingly insurmountable goal into more manageable chunks. That’s not to say everyone’s checklist should have the same items (or the items in the same order).

Some of us prioritise security with building an emergency fund and making a will at the top of the list. You have both of these right?  Others will prioritise growth  – investment goals and retirement planning.

Your top three steps will vary depending on the stage of life you are at. For example, a sample checklist for those with young kids might begin with:

  • Review your estate plan (wills)
  • Save for your children’s’ education
  • Relay financial knowledge to your children

Expertise Gets Results

There are plenty of items on the checklist to tick off for yourself: for example, you are best positioned to impart financial know-how to your children. Other items will benefit enormously from professional expertise.

A sample checklist for a professional getting established in their career might begin with:

  • Grow a savings fund for Investment strategy
  • Be proactive in tax and estate planning
  • Get out of Debt

When hitting mid-career other considerations raise their head:

  • Maximise retirement funding
  • Absolutely now must get rid of debt
  • Lifestyle ambitions – overseas travel
  • Consider long-term care plans & financial scenarios for ageing parents

Investment Strategies, retirement contributions and tax planning are best discussed with your Financial Planner and Accountant. Care plans for you and your parents should be discussed with both financial and healthcare professionals.

The important thing is better decision outcomes will be gained with expert advice and guidance.  Think about the 10%, even if you are savvy, with expert advise you may be able to get more from your money.

Got Data?

Data is worth more than gut feeling. More than friendly advice. If you have some data, you can see the trend, and, combined with expert advice, you have everything you need to begin planning.

Your financial success checklist should be your “outline plan”. As such, it defines the high-level areas you need to cover: you can work the details out later with the advice and expertise appropriate to each area.

Until you know what you want to achieve and where you are starting, you can’t action it.

Start at the beginning, with your key data – bank balances, assets, liabilities, income, and fixed outgoings (bills).  Make sure you also look at spending patterns and consider how tracking the data can keep you honest to your own ambitions.

Tick Jobs off Like a Boss

Once you have a checklist (outline plan), execution is all-important. You’ll want to tear through the basics to get to the point where your money is looking after itself and your plan for financial success is bearing fruit.

That’s where Bill Butler can speed things up: we turn checklists into results by working with you to automate and outsource the steps your plan identifies;provide reporting and alarms when there’s a cashflow problem ahead and provide discipline and support to help you stay the course.

So, get started on your Financial Success checklist, and then make that call to get your very own Bill Butler.

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stephensJay Stephens – Lead Thought Provoker
Jay began his career in London with Rabobank, CLS bank and a Lloyd’s of London syndicate. Jay’s work has spanned corporate communications, content editing, newspaper articles, courseware, blogging, policy drafting, technical writing, and a regular crossword. He is passionate about 8-bit tunes, self-improvement, and the Oxford comma.