Do you have a financial plan? Have you talked to a financial planner? When you think about creating a financial plan, does it sound like you're going to need to turn in a book report? Well, that's along the lines of what Carl Richards discovered...
Carl is a financial advisor. But he's also a cartoonist. Strange? A bit. But it's pretty cool how he combines the two.
You see, Carl is all about simplicity. And drawing cartoons is also about simplicity - usually conveying a complex message in the simplest way possible. And everyone could use a little simplicity in their finances.
The One-Page Financial Plan
In Carl's new book, The One-Page Financial Plan, he gives you simple examples and strategies so that you can be smart about your money. He says "in a single page you can prioritize what you really want in life and figure out how to get there." I'm on board.
And the book really lives up to it's promise. In 10 chapters, each one roughly 20 pages (with drawings scattered in), he breaks down complex topics into their simplest forms, and gives you an action plan about what you should really focus on today.
For example, in his chapter "Save As Much As You Reasonably Can", Carl shares a fun story. While working at Fidelity, he asked a friend "Are you saving enough for college, and how do you know?" His friend simply answered, "I'm saving as much as I reasonably can." He goes on to give tips about what reasonably can really means, including simply knowing your budget, saving windfalls, automation, and more.
Basically, Carl makes it really easy to setup a system that works. If you're looking for a book about how to get started with your money SIMPLY, then check out The One-Page Financial Plan.
Get To Know Carl Richards
Beyond the book, I always like to get to know the authors as well. I think it's always important to know a little of the story behind the person. I was able to reach out to Carl and ask a couple questions, which I wanted to share with you today.
How did you get started in the finance space?
Carl: My career in finance started by accident. I applied thinking the job was to be a security guard, but it turned out to be a job in the securities industry. I quickly learned how much I loved it and the rest is history.
You talk about the importance of values when it comes to money. What are some of your values and how do they align with what you're doing with your money?
Carl: My wife and I identified two values that we put at the top of our one-page plan: Spending time with our kids doing things outdoors and serving in the community. We use these values as a reminder of what we should be doing. Hopefully, our values are informing our money decisions on a day-to-day basis. Of course, that's easier said than done, but I think we're doing a good job.
Life does happen, as you highlight a lot. Would you mind sharing a money moment where life happened and it was unexpected, and how you handled it?
Carl: I was expecting a bonus for some work I'd done. Now, I was prepared for one number to be on the check. It wasn't going to be as much as we needed to do certain things, but we were prepared to make it work. The bonus turned out to be twice what I expected! It was a good money moment for a couple of reasons. Knowing the check was coming, my wife and I had been talking through our situation. We were in sync with what we wanted to do financially. As a result, we knew exactly what we wanted to do with that "extra" money. It was a great feeling to know that we'd made some good financial decisions.
What is the #1 thing someone can do today to improve their financial situation almost immediately?
Carl: Start talking about it. That may sound simple, but it's not easy to talk about money because of all the emotions involved. However, it's the number one thing people can do to start improving their situation right now.
Giveaway: 3 Copies Of The Book
This is an awesome book, and we're giving away three copies of it to lucky readers who enter the giveaway below.
This giveaway is going to run from today, May 15, 2015 until May 31, 2015. There's lots of ways to win, so give it your best shot!
The One Page Financial Plan
- Helpful - 90
- Easy to Read - 90
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.