A Cash Flow Plan: What is it, exactly?

You just cringed at the words ‘cash’ and ‘plan’ didn’t you? It sounds all businessy and like it is meant for someone other than you.

Stay with me. I promise it gets better. So, really, it’s a budget. You cringed again, I know it. Don’t leave yet. Let’s try this: It’s a path to achieving every goal that you identify as a priority in your life. Sound better?

What that really means is that you tell me your hopes and dreams for today and the future and hand me your scrambled mess of numbers that reflects the current state of your personal finances. Then you relax for a while and I put those silly numbers into my beautiful spreadsheets and mix them up with those dreams you talked about. We meet and talk a few more times, because I have lots of questions and you forgot about some other debt that you were too afraid to disclose the first time and, oh yeah, you booked a vacation for next month too. I smile and say, “It’s okay”, because you are human and so am I.
A few weeks after our first conversation, I hand you a finalized version of your super, duper, simplified, easy to follow plan and hold your hand for a few more weeks to be sure you use it for good and not evil. You bring the desire to change and the ‘can do’ attitude.

What doesn’t happen is that I don’t tell you what your priorities should be. I help you reach them. I don’t magically increase your income. That’s up to you. Also, I don’t grow your money. That’s up to your financial advisor. I will help you find, sort, organize, pay off debt, spend and save the money you already have.

That, in a nutshell, is a cash flow plan.

If you want to know how a cash flow plan has helped others achieve their goals and what’s involved in getting started, send me an email at kate@balancedcashflow.ca and we will book a time to answer your questions. It’s a no-fee conversation.


Posted in Uncategorized

November is National Financial Literacy Month in Canada. Who Knew?

And quite frankly, who cares? I am willing to bet that most Canadians have no idea our tax dollars are at work to strengthen our financial well-being through the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada(wait, what?). At least for the month of November.

And why don’t we care about Financial Literacy? Because to start, we don’t know what the term ’Financial Literacy’ evenbills means. And of course, we are not going to out ourselves and ask someone. Well, if you want to see your tax dollars in action, you will find the FCAC’s definition here: http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/financialLiteracy/Pages/home-accueil.aspx.

As a personal cash flow expert, I get asked a lot of money questions. Questions like: Should I roll my consumer debt on to my mortgage? Should I pay off debt first or save for emergencies? How much will I need for retirement? How do I make a change now so my kids are better at this than I am? Knowing the answers to these questions contributes to your financial literacy.

Most of us were not taught, in school or at home, how to manage our day-to-day finances. As a result, we don’t talk about money with our friends, spouses or our kids. It’s taboo. We hide from financial planners, we don’t look at our bank balances and we use credit as income, not convenience. We are inundated with new financial products and we buy them with no clear understanding of their cost. We continue to struggle to get it right.

So what if you are not so confident in your knowledge of money and personal finances? Over the next 5 weeks, Financial Literacy Month 2016 offers an opportunity to increase your knowledge and confidence with a focus on managing money and debt. Each week will have its’ own subtheme identifying the benefits of basic money management practices. There is also a Financial Literacy self-assessment quiz that will compare your knowledge to other Canadians and link you to resources that can help improve your money management skills. You can find the quiz here: https://itools-ioutils.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/FLSAT-OAELF/star-comm-eng.aspx

A few minutes ago, you may not have known about Financial Literacy Month. A few minutes ago, you probably didn’t care. Perhaps now you’ve read the definition of Financial Literacy and it’s not as scary as you thought. Maybe it’s time to check out the website, take the quiz and become more financially literate. You might as well, you’ve already paid for it!

Posted in November 2016

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