The 3-Step Guide to Creating a Financial Mission Statement
Staying focused on your financial goals can be difficult.
You know what they are. You know that you will be better off if you stick to them.
However, you have a lot going on and it can be hard to remain dedicated to something that is just floating around in your head.
You are not the only one that struggles with this lack of focus. Many people come to me with the same issues I mentioned above. They are completely aware that they need to meet their goals but lack that urge to focus intensely on them.
In this situation, I recommend creating a financial mission statement. A financial mission statement will help you visualize your financial goals and remind you why you’re looking to accomplish them. With this constant reminder staring you in the face every day, you will want to attack your goals head on.
Sound like a good strategy? Well, let’s get into the details on how to create one!
What Is a Financial Mission Statement?
A financial mission statement (FMS) outlines your household’s mission, purpose and reason for being financially secure.
A good FMS will accurately explain what your household wants to achieve financially in the future and how you are going to get there.
It will also incorporate your values. In other words, if you want to thrive financially without sacrificing your charity donations, you should include that in your mission statement.
How Do You Create a Financial Mission Statement?
A FMS can be created in three simple steps:
- Determine the problems or opportunities that need to be addressed
- Focus on what you are going to do to address these problems and opportunities
- Define your household values and determine how they will help you achieve your goals
Sounds pretty simple, right? Let’s get a little more specific.
Step 1 – Determine The Problems or Opportunities That Need to Be Addressed
In this step, you should include the problems and/or opportunities that your family faces and how you are looking to correct them. You should prepare statements that get to the point quickly and stress the areas that you would like to focus on.
If your main problem is paying off debt, you want to include some motivational keywords to make you want to complete this task fast. Here is an example:
The financial mission of the Smith household is to remove the vicious hold that debt has on us. We will strive to not increase our debt and aggressively pay down our existing debt.
Have no debt? Awesome! You should also use this area to focus on financial opportunities that may be coming in the future. Looking to fully fund your Roth IRA each year? Put that in this section! Here is an example:
The financial mission of the Jones household is to fully fund both of our Roth IRAs each year. We also strive to place an additional $3,000 into our 401(k)s after these are funded.
Step 2 – Determine How You Are Going to Address The Items Defined
Now that you have your focus points, state the path you are going to take to meet the goals. If you said that you wanted to pay off debt, explain how you plan on doing it. Here is an example:
We want to aggressively pay down our debt by taking on additional part-time work and put into place several frugal habits. We realize that many of our previous spending habits were hurting us and it is time to change those habits.
That statement focused on how you are planning on paying down the debt. It also gives you things to focus on to ensure that you complete the goals.
Step 3 – Incorporate The Values of Your Household and List How They Will Help You Meet Your Goals
In this step you should inject your values into the FMS. Do you hate debt? Do you want to give 10% of your income to charities? This is the section to include those things. Here is an example:
While completing our drastic debt reduction, we will continue to support our local charities. Also, in our quest to retire at age 55, we still want to enjoy certain things like traveling.
Combine To Get The Finished Product
Now that you have finished each step, you should combine your thoughts and goals into a complete financial mission statement. Keep in mind that the statement should be motivational. You will want everyone in your household to remain focused on the financial tasks at hand.
Here is an example of a finished financial mission statement:
The financial mission of our family is to remove the vicious hold that debt has on us. We will strive to not increase our debt and aggressively pay down our existing debt without sacrificing our gifts to local charities. After we erase this debt, we will focus intensely on increasing our savings so that we may retire at age 55 and do work that we love and enjoy. We want to accomplish this without becoming “cheapskates”. We also want to teach our children the ins and outs of money at an early age as we do not want them to have the same financial problems as us.
That mission statement gets to the point and conveys exactly what the family wants to achieve. It may not include all of the small things that will most certainly come around but it at least keeps them focused on the financial task at hand.
When you have finished your financial mission statement, please it in an easy to see location. I recommend placing it on the refrigerator in a bright color for all to see.
It’s time to get working on yours! Sit down with your family and discuss finances. There is no better time than today!