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<March 2015>



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Three Steps To A Winning Financial Game Plan

By: Jeffrey J. Buonforte

football players in huddleWhether you follow pee-wee football or the NFL you know the important role a solid game plan plays in achieving success. The same can be said for one’s personal financial goals, only the game plan in this instance is a budget.
Think of your budget as the key to winning the big game and it doesn’t have to be difficult if you stick to these three easy steps. 
So where do you start? Think about the answers to these questions:
  • How much money do you have?
  • Where is it being spent?
  • When does the next round of money come in?
Step 1: Calculate how much income you have. Income includes your earnings (including that extra job you picked up last month), and interest on investments.
Step 2: Inventory how you spent the money you earned for three months. Monthly expense categories include rent/mortgage, insurance (car, house, life and medical, etc.), car payment, gas, food, entertainment, clothing, credit cards, investments, charity donations, utilities (phone, water, trash pick-up, electricity, etc.) and savings. Include savings because you have to pay yourself too!
Step 3: Now you’re ready to set goals to ensure you stay within your means and don’t get overextended. Creating a game plan for your budget and revisiting it monthly will allow for adjustments so that when an unexpected expense occurs you’ll be equipped to handle it, which is the first step necessary to achieve financial success and independence.
If you are not convinced, think about your team and answer this question, “Do they go on the field without a game plan? No. And you shouldn’t either!
*Securities are offered through Essex National Securities, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC. Insurance products are offered through Essex National Insurance Agency, Inc. Neither are affiliated with Lakeland Bank.

Products are not guaranteed by the bank, not FDIC insured, not a deposit, not insured by any federal government agency, and we may lose value including loss of principal.

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