Identify Your Goal First

Money empowers you to act on your desires, but also tempts you to spend on frivolous items and questionable goals. Figuring out your goal gets out of the cycle of aimless spending.

I started to learn this lesson at a young age. I started delivering newspapers as a paperboy for the Long Island Press when I was 10 years old. I generally collected about 10 cents per home as a tip. The newspaper route, as well as other small jobs such as setting up for the local bingo for $2 a session at my church, provided me with enough money to splurge every Friday afternoon on as much candy as I pleased. 

Another newspaper boy who delivered for the much bigger Newsday often met me at the local five and dime to spend some of our weekly bounty. We even bought baseball cards for the cheap hard gum pressed in with the cards.

Even with this habit of purchasing large amounts of candy weekly, I was still able to save on a regular basis. I saved months of newspaper delivery tips for a 10-speed bicycle. I can still remember the joy of purchasing the bright red Panasonic bike. Buying the bike as pleasurable as purchasing a Ferrari today.

But as much joy as that 10-speed bike brought me, there was nothing better than the financial security of money in my pocket. I realized even at an early age the tremendous value of just having enough money to handle my current needs.

While the desires we have today are much greater than my 10-speed bicycle, satisfying consumer wants and the human need to help and protect one’s family is never easy, and requires professional support. As we age, our desires and needs vary, but we first must find out what is most important to each of us. An advisor can help you clarify what your wants, needs and concerns are, and then works with you on a plan to accomplish all that matters to you.

At its heart, financial planning is about bringing financial comfort to people as they deal with complex and overwhelming financial problems. It clarifies our goals and gives us a road map to wiser spending decisions. It helps us know when we have enough security to spend on big things and small things.     

Everyone desires financial security. The challenge is identifying goals and creating a financial plan designed with this in mind. When we know the objective, putting money toward something greater than a weekly Snickers and a bike is easier to do.

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Dan Crimmins is the co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management LLC in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. His websites and
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