Many families come together each Fourth of July to celebrate our country’s freedoms. Freedoms our forefathers fought diligently to protect and maintain for all future generations of Americans. My family’s July 4th tradition, like many, involves a day spent with family and friends playing games, grilling, and enjoying one another’s company. It always culminates with an explosive fireworks display set to a number of patriotic songs.
For the past three summers my family has spent the holiday in a quaint little town in Montana. As locals gather decked out in their red, white, and blue attire eager to watch a carefully orchestrated fireworks show, the pyrotechnics complete their final preparation on a floating barge out in the middle of the lake. Some spectators watch the light show, up close and personal, from a pontoon or speed boat while others choose to observe the event from the shore.
Last year the extravaganza took a much different turn. Midway into the fireworks display the barge and several of the remaining canisters caught fire and burned before the finale even began. The local firefighting team rushed to put out the fire with a new fireboat the city had just purchased. With pre-planning and precise teamwork, the city still rendered a positive outcome for the thousands who watched even though an unplanned situation had changed the original plan.
Managing our finances is no different. Often times the vision and plans we have will be altered by medical issues, career changes, market adjustments, and unforeseen family situations. During these changes in our lives, including our finances, we can rest in God’s word.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” – I Timothy 6:17. When you rely upon God’s word, you are better able to not only manage but eliminate the fear and uncertainty from life’s unexpected financial challenges. God will give you all the wisdom needed to make the necessary changes for your financial future.
Find below four principles to get you back on track and moving toward financial freedom:
1. Recalibrate – Establish new goals with reasonable time horizons that compliment your current situation. Be specific with your goals and measure your progress quarterly at a minimum.
2. Refocus – Identify the risk you are willing to endure and set acceptable realistic returns. Avoid the temptation to follow “the herd.” When this occurs it becomes easier for greed to become your motivating force rather than following a disciplined approach.
3. Refine – Future adjustments will be necessary to accomplish financial freedom as you continually measure risk, diversification, expense, time horizons and your expectations.
4. Restore – As you increase your discipline and faith your confidence in your financial future will grow in stability and outcome. Turning to the God of Hope will provide the peace and security you seek when financial doubts or concerns knock at the door of your thinking.
As pre-planning and teamwork saved a fireworks show in Montana, it can also provide the path and destination toward a successful financial future. As we approach this Fourth of July may the skies of your financial future illuminate with the orchestrated light of explosive success set to the music of faith and discipline.
Guy Hatcher – known as The Legacy Guy – has spent his lifetime helping families plan their legacy. His new book, Your Future Reflection: How to Leave a Legacy Beyond Money, is now available at amazon.com. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or contact him at www.guyhatcher.com