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Personal Financial Plan: Personal Experiences

One of the first things that I would like to deal with is the financial challenge of student loan debt. I believe that its impact could be detrimental, so it is essential to manage all the unplanned expenditures and make sure that I am going to accumulate enough wealth to cover the student loan. The list of my lifetime goals includes:

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  1. saving money for inadvertent events,
  2. making sure that I saved enough money for retirement,
  3. buying a house, a car, or any other property that would be an essential asset for the family,
  4. and investing resources in business.

There is no particular order that I would like to set for the goals from above, as the key idea for me is to always keep track of my money and ensure that it is always invested correctly and is going to bring profits, either monetary or emotional. My action plan is to never settle for less and revise the current financial plan from time to time to see my progress and keep the list of actions in line with my interests in both the short- and long-term. I believe that my future job and education are going to establish the development vector and help me find the right direction.

First, I would like to start with the assets that I currently own and how these could contribute to my future and the process of attaining the goals that I have established above. I do not have any savings as of now, but I am interested in opening a bank account and depositing $100 monthly to establish the ground for future investments. Also, I am not interested in investing any of my money into the business as of now because I believe that paying out the student loan debt is a much more important short-term goal. The job that I am going to acquire will unlock the 401k retirement plan and help me get over rental fees and buy my housing. I currently do not own any automobiles, with the personal property being the only asset that I possess at the moment. It is beneficial for me that I only have a single long-term debt (student loan) and have more chances to plan my finances than individuals with home mortgages and auto loans have. The major expenditure categories that I would like to point out are housing, transportation, and taxes. I tend to track all my expenditures and make sure that the sum never exceeds an acceptable amount of money.

On the other hand, I am not yet interested in reinvesting and earning more money from the bank because there are expenditures that yet have to be covered within the short-term frame. The modern value of interest rates and discount rates makes me think that the majority of retirement plans are set up in a way that reduces a person’s opportunity to achieve their long-term goals. This is why I believe that any loan has to be repaid as soon as possible to create more room for housing mortgage. Such monthly payments are critically important because there are equal installments that I will be obliged to pay as soon as I get to purchase a house or an automobile of my dreams. I am not going to use the money that I am going to save on a monthly basis ($100) to repay the loan, as these would be required to cover any unexpected purchases in the future. To prevent monetary losses in the future, I might choose to protect my financial resources by adding them to my bank savings account. This should allow me to start accomplishing my retirement plan in advance and also evade situations where I would become a debtor.

As an honest taxpayer, I would not want to seek for ways to backdoor the government and gain more dividends while evading taxes. Therefore, I will make sure that all necessary payments are on time, and income taxes are calculated in line with the assets that I actually own. Even though the cost of living would become extreme at the time when I will first find a job after graduation, I would still make sure to pursue my life goals. This would require me to develop a plan where I would engage in lifelong learning and spend money on education even after I graduate because professional skills have to be updated from time to time in order for me to make the best use of them. The most important task will be to learn more about available tax software and only file tax documents online in order to save time and money. The income that I currently have barely allows for covering the withholding, but I will achieve better results by means of tracking deductions and gaining more insight into cost basis. Taxes are utterly important for any citizen, and ignoring the significance of paying the right amount of money cannot be underestimated.

There are numerous challenges linked to managing liquid assets, but I would like to make the best use of all the cash and tax refunds that I receive and hold in hand or bank. At the given moment, the best option for me would be to develop an emergency fund that I would use to cover any unexpected expenses in the future. The funds that I would have in the bank, I would also split into several accounts to make sure that I am not going to lose all of my liquid assets at once in case something bad happens. Another way of gaining more money and protect the existing resources would be to limit online banking activities and only perform monetary operations when it is necessary. This would help me evade other people hacking into my account and stealing all the money. One more opportunity to make my own life easier would be to set up automatic bill payments and prevent additional debt. The money that I have I would split in a way that at least one partition would be used to cover those bill payments and make it easier for me to deposit additional cash to the bank account.

Even though I am a frequent user of credit cards and am closely acquainted with how they work, I would not want to cover the fees related to card maintenance and expose myself to the risk of having to pay the bank for helping me use its monetary resources. The idea is that I would prefer debit cards to their credit counterparts and gain more money over time without having to worry about my identity being stolen or having to recompense for the hacker’s actions. In order to achieve my goals from the first paragraph, I am not going to travel too much prior to my retirement in order to gain the required sum as quickly as possible. I would use my debit card to establish another fund for additional expenditures that I would be able to utilize in the case where other monetary sources had become unavailable. The card balance would not exceed a total of $10.000, as I do not want to motivate myself to spend too much and provoke my financial personality to get too excited about all the money I have been able to save to my debit card.

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As for the potential consumer loans, I expect to cover three essential loans in the future:

  1. housing,
  2. automobile,
  3. business.

For house mortgage, I would go with the Federal Housing Administration loan because it is the best option for individuals with low incomes. With 3.5% payments, their offers positively stand out among other custom mortgages that are most likely to put a strain on my monetary resources. My good credit score would allow me to get a personal loan and benefit from the lowest percentage (2.99%), among other available options. Even though I am not sure about how I am going to set up my business expenditures, I would be appealed to invest in activities that would not put my mortgage and auto loan in danger. I would be interested in evading bankruptcy and visiting credit counselors, which means that I would do whatever it takes not to miss a single payment. Another important idea is that the most expensive loan would be covered first, irrespective of what kind of problems I could have in the future. As no one is effusively protected against monetary challenges, I would always keep myself ready to spend debit card or bank account money to avoid loan overdue.

When choosing a home and an automobile for myself (and the family), I would only purchase something that perfectly reflects my values and does not go over the top. For example, I am not very likely to buy an expensive house or a luxury car just to show off or force myself to work three times harder in order to cover the loans. To maintain my purchase habit, I would choose something practical that would help the family without putting too much of a monetary strain on it. Even though I believe that I should purchase a house, I have a backup option of renting one, as there may be different complications averting me from proper monthly mortgage payments. I would go with simpler housing and automobile to protect myself from an extensive debt and ensure that I am going to benefit (and not suffer) from my purchasing behavior.

Another important section is life and health insurance, and I believe that the cost of covering health insurance is worth it. I am not planning to travel a lot at the moment, but the future suggests that I could be visiting different places, which makes it reasonable to purchase health insurance. The potential changes in lifestyle could contribute to health deterioration and cause unexpected problems. It leads me to the idea that enough money should be allocated to cover the rising medical costs and help me take advantage of income tax benefits that would let me make the best use of additional tax deductions. The best way for me to advance and make a reasonable choice would be to purchase health insurance around my thirties when I will have a stable job and mortgage and loan payments all sorted out.

Two more things to consider would be property and liability insurance. Given that I am expecting to get a mortgage, it is essential to protect my home and ensure that no external or internal damage would give rise to additional expenditures. The idea for me is to purchase liability and property insurance to prevent any unwanted events from happening or at least to be able to recover if an accident happens. My good credit score is going to affect my chances to purchase the required insurance in a positive way. The dangers of navigating the roads also make me think about purchasing automobile insurance, but I am not fully sure about covering its cost just yet. I understand the consequences of not having the right coverage in case of an emergency, but the price of automobile insurance does not seem reasonable to me, especially knowing that I would have to pay mortgage and auto loans.

Ultimately, I would like to talk about business investments that I would like to make in the future. I am looking for business partners that would like to establish an authentic enterprise that would appeal to the local population. I realize that speculation would not bring as many returns on investment, so this is why I choose to set some of the resources aside and utilize them to support my business incentives. The key objective for me would be to make the right investment choices and make sure that the business is going to be relevant to the area. An essential task would be to review the risks of investing in the given enterprise and assess the market before making any bold moves that could leave me financially struggling or even bankrupt.

Even though I realize the inherent value of securities markets, I would not want to engage in any activities linked to them because it might not always help one’s finance to grow. My resources are limited, and so are the opportunities associated with securities markets. This is why I would not want to participate in financial operations that cover securities markets and give an indistinct idea of how the new capital could be achieved. Instead, I would choose to deposit cash to my savings bank account and debit card while seeking for the right business partner. The only potential benefit of the securities market that I would pay attention to is the fact that it provides liquidity within the domain and increases the cost of available stocks. Nevertheless, it is not true for all businesses, so I would like to stay away from security markets while I still have to pay mortgage and auto loans.

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On the other hand, within the framework of an unstoppable economy, investing in stocks seems like a good idea, and I could explore it to see how the existing risks could be mitigated. The growth in consumer demand drives me to think that there might be stocks worth investments, especially under the condition where it gives an opportunity to overcome inflation and hold more value even during complex finance-related situations. Despite being a risky initiative, approximately ten years from now, I could be buying stocks at a lower cost and then try selling them at a higher price at the right time. Knowing that stocks are easy to market, I would make sure I am going to profit from it and then get to improve my stock-picking skills. Nevertheless, I would not engage in any risky activity before I get to a stable job and proper monthly income.

Comparing stocks to bonds, I would pick the former at any time, but the latter is still a viable alternative to investing monetary resources in organizational value. The idea behind bonds is that they might provide me with more predictable incomes, but in the end, the prospects of stocks look better. In the case of a specific situation occurring (that would require me to seek security), I would definitely go with bonds because they might help me diversify the portfolio and establish an income that will be in line with my expectations irrespective of the market situation. Based on the current situation, I would suppose that having 75% in stocks and 25% in cash and bonds would be perfect. The last option that I might use to improve my monetary situation could be real estate investments, but I would not resort to them except for an emergency. The same goes for speculation in gold, collectibles, or any other items.

There also several reasons why I would not want to go with mutual funds and invest in them. The first is that I am not willing to pay a management fee to a professional portfolio manager and spend my time and money to bite off my expense ratio. On the other hand, I would not have any kind of control over my portfolio compared to stocks and bonds. The next reason why I would give up on mutual funds is an over-diversification that may be expected to increase the risk of not getting enough returns on investment. The growing number of mutual funds in the market actually scares me away because annual expenses related to this type of investment are incredibly high. There will be no way for me to maintain liquidity for future procurements, and I will be subject to losing resources instead of gaining them.

Within the framework of my retirement planning, I would like to join the 401k initiative and benefit from automatic deductions completed by the employer. With this option, my savings would grow much quicker and allow me to review the potential investment options in an active mode because I would be ready to lose some money prior to accessing larger returns on investment in the case where I get to run my own business or partner with another investor. The 401k initiative is a powerful money-saving tool that should be viewed as the shortest path toward a secure pension. On the other hand, this is also a relatively inexpensive way of creating a rich portfolio that can be later used to address more investment opportunities without being too afraid to lose all available resources.

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