Over the next few weeks, we will walk through our financial planning process from start to finish. We will be revealing all of our “secrets.” The funny thing is that it’s NOT a secret! The process and principles have been known and discussed for thousands of years. Let’s dive in…

Step 1 – DREAM

You need to define what is important to you. Call these goals, values, priorities, or whatever you want. Bottom line, if you don’t define what’s important to you, you will never make as much progress, financially or otherwise, as you would like.

Think about it within the context of a few examples…if you have started or wanted to start a business, wouldn’t you begin by asking “what do I want to accomplish?”

Or, when buying a home, don’t you start by creating your short list of requirements: location, size, new, old, renovated or fixer upper?

Finally, don’t you plan your vacations around what’s important to you? It may be rest, adventure, sightseeing, experiencing a new culture, etc.

We spend money on what we value; if we don’t determine what we value we just spend money!

So how do we discover what we value? TALK ABOUT IT!!

Here is my favorite quote on this topic: “The only way to make your finances a non-issue is to consistently make them an issue.”

If you are single, grab dinner with a close friend and dream out loud about your finances.

If you are married, schedule a date night to dream with your spouse about your finances.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. What would you like to accomplish in the next year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
  2. Are there any causes / organizations that you are passionate about that you could give your time or money to?
  3. When would you like to retire and what will that season of life look like?
  4. What trips would you like to take?
  5. Can you use your money to “invest” in and build memories with your family?
  6. Are there any projects or major purchases you would like to save for?

These conversations will help you discover what you really value. From here, it’s time to take these dreams and boil them down to actionable steps. For some of you, this is doable on your own. For others, this is where we might come in.

Next Week: Is a budget restricting or could it free you up to enjoy more of your money?


  1. G.M. Stephens on February 15, 2017 at 8:50 PM

    Great advice from a great CFP.

  2. Alice Stephens on February 16, 2017 at 3:27 AM

    Excellent and inspiring. Love setting goals and working to complete them. Good stuff, Taylor.
    Thank you!

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