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Paint By Numbers

Not long ago , I took my first drawing class. I struggled , but as I kept at it, I surprised myself and realized , in concurrence with my accomplished instructor , it is likely part natural ability and part practice. For me , 100% practice and 0 % natural ability, so a paint by numbers project would’ve been welcomed.

The numbers surrounding the daily Covid news, it’s progress , remediation and projections are very important to all of us. Sorting through them regularly for the truth and direction is a lot like the intersection of life and financial planning.


If life is a canvas, then we each have a chance to paint whatever we want for our lives. It can be filled with excitement, dreams and visions , friends and family , purpose and fulfillment defined by you and certainly including unforeseen twists and turns. There are many aspects to a life well planned and making the most of moments , adversity and opportunities.


The numbers or a degree of financial literacy comes into play in supporting and facilitating the picture you draw for yourself. Just like a paint by numbers project.

There are two ways you can approach it . 1: Set the goal and do all you can to generate money to achieve that goal. Optimizing your revenue to support your short and long-term goals.

REVENUE : income from a career: salary bonus and benefits .

* take part-time work to supplement your career. * begin a business idea to start your own business and feed the entrepreneur in you.

You can do one or all of these with consequences , free time and sanity.


EXPENSES : simply stated-spend money which supports your plan, less than you make and only what you need.


TOOLS NEEDED : a simple budget of income and expenses . * create a statement of what you own and what you owe; it lets you know if you are gaining on it each year. * reserve for surprises

* begin an investment plan for money not needed for five years or more and that will likely give you a better return over time. * put in place some degree of risk management such as health , car , home , life insurance . Money drives it and may take a more active role.

2: Make the goal what you love to do and make and spend money that fits within your means and supports that passion.


Pour your resources into what you love to do each day and a lifestyle which supports it.


EXPENSE STATEMENT – be clear what you need to live on-the statement of what you spend.

INCOME STATEMENT - what you can expect in the way of income from your passion and vocation . RESERVE ACCOUNT - that will help to ensure there is no interruption.


RISK MANAGEMENT - insurance for health, car , home and life.

Money supports it ; May be more of a reactive role.


These two options are a continuum of life, with degrees of complexity and adaptability often being fluid. Your success is often determined by how much you want it , your persistence and effort extended.

If you can find a coach or helpful reminders of goals, ways to stay motivated and ways to celebrate along the journey , you’ll be money ahead. If you approach this with discipline and determination you just might pleasantly surprise yourself as to how much practice makes perfect .

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