The road to financial health is traveled one step at a time.  Trusted financial advisor Steven Girard offers the next step toward making money your partner rather than your prison guard.

This is what I will be. Now that you have read and done the exercise in my last blog post “How To Improve Your Relationship With Money Starting Today,” you have began your financial transformation.  By defining and declaring what you want your life to be, you have begun to establish multiple desires in the future, each with its own set of planning steps that need to be taken.  Believe it or not, the hardest part is over.  The emotional aspect of planning can be the most difficult because it forces you to think beyond what is going on in your life today and instead think about the years of “tomorrows” to come.  Remember, your desires are the destination and your Personal Plan of Action is the machine that will get you there.

Begin creating your Personal Plan of Action by taking the desires you put to paper and adding timelines for each stated objective.  When would you like to complete them?  Or, are they ongoing desires? Both are fine.  By establishing a time frame for each of your emotional desires, they have begun to crystallize from declarations of intent into specific goals.

Now you have to begin including money into the situation.  The difference now is that you’re not bringing money into the process as a wild, nerve racking variable, but you are bringing it tamely into a structured set of parameters.  Money has gone from being your enemy to being your friend.

Steven Girard, President, Northstar Financial Companies, Inc.

Estimate what each of these goals might cost in today’s dollars and how much income is necessary to make them happen?  What lump sum will you need to acquire the goal?  Write these figures down.  Now apply the impact of inflation using an online savings goal calculator on our Northstar Financial website.  Use 4% in expected inflation field and plug in the number of years it will take to reach your goal.  Set these final figures aside.

You have just taken another very important step toward understanding your financial picture.  By coming up with real numbers that represent the life you desire, you now know what it will take to achieve those dreams.

We are taking this transformation one step at a time because when setting off on a new path, the feeling that it all must be tackled at once stops many in their tracks.  Breaking it down into smaller, manageable activities will increase your odds of being successful.

Next time, we’ll go in for a reality check, and I’ll provide easy ways to come up with something that sounds more intimidating that it is – your Personal Net Worth Statement, which is what you currently have to fund your dreams and desires.

Steven B Girard is the President of Northstar Financial Companies, Inc., and the Principal of the  Registered Investment Advisor firm.  With over 18 years of financial planning experience, he believes that financial planning is the key to achieving a life lived well.  He is responsible for the development and institution of Northstar Financial Companies, Inc., its overall philosophy, and financial planning strategies.  Email:

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Northstar Financial Companies, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor. NFC and Cambridge are not affiliated.

Northstar Financial Companies, Inc.
1100 E. Hector St. Ste 399,
Conshohocken PA 19428

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