No Microwave in the Financial Kitchen

There is no microwave in your financial kitchen.

I know, that sounds like the kind of sentence that might escape the lips of your crazy uncle after too much egg nogg on Christmas eve, but it carries with it the key to your financial success.

Living in America, we are used to getting what we want when we want it; it is built into our DNA.  Recall the last time you had to sit longer than 5 minutes in a fast-food line.  Remember how impatient you were?   Never mind the fact that the restaurant was frantically assembling a Big Mac meal deal for you, a salad for your spouse, and happy meals with toys for each of your kids.  In those terms, 5 minutes seems pretty quick. 

The same can be said for your various financial priorities.  You want to have a nest egg that will provide income for the length of your retirement.  You want to have an emergency fund that will cover six months of expenses.  You need to use a budget and get out of debt.  All of these require one common ingredient – time.

Creating a budget takes time.  The first time you build a budget with spending targets you will fail.  You will undershoot some categories and overshoot others.  This is common.  Don’t throw up your hands in  frustration.  You are changing lifelong spending habits.  Adjust your numbers, reevaluate your goals, and modify your behavior gradually to get within your goals. 

Building an emergency fund takes time.  If you want 6 months of net expenses saved but can only devote 10% of your income for savings, it may take you two or three years to get to your goal.  Be patient.  Enjoy each month your emergency fund is bigger than the last.

Getting out of debt takes time.  You probably didn’t get into debt overnight; you won’t get out overnight.  With the added friction of higher interest rates, it will take time to climb out.  Set up automatic bank payments to cover your minimum payment due.  Then direct all available cash flow freed up by your budget to pay down your debt.  Be patient.  Enjoy each month that your debt balance is lower than the last.

Building a nest egg takes time.  How many times have you heard your financial planner tell you to start early?  Don’t wait to start, even if you can only contribute a little due to other financial priorities.  Start saving what you can, then gradually increase your contribution rate over time. 

So, what does your financial kitchen have? 

It does have a recipe; this is your budget.  It gathers and guides all the ingredients of your financial plan.  Follow it closely.

It does have measuring spoons; these are all the contributions you make to your accounts, and the payments you make to your debt.  Add just the right amount of each priority.

It does have a mixer; this is the allocation of all your asset types. Blend it well.

And it does have an oven.  Throw your plan in the oven, set the timer, and go enjoy life while your plan bakes.

And one more thing, it has a master chef.  Your financial planner is waiting to help you with your financial plan. For help with your financial culinary masterpiece, contact your Francis financial planner, reach out to us via phone at 866.232.6457 or email at

Bon Appetite!

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