Susan and Angela are pleased to welcome Kirstin Ricketts as a Guest Blogger this week.  Kirstin has attained her Certified Divorce Financial Analyst designation from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.  Kirstin offers a unique perspective for those going through divorce as she lends expertise and offers suggestions for those empowering financial actions we can take and decisions we can make during this time.  We are grateful to have her voice, wisdom, and experience to pass on to you.

Piggy bank
 

The time is now.  Often we say this at the beginning of the year when it comes to our finances. Other times it may be when you graduated with a degree, started a new job, had a child, or even when you got married.  Often, even with the best intentions, something keeps us from achieving what we have always wanted.
 
 When faced with a divorce we never dreamed would happen, fear may keep us from using this time as a positive beginning. 
 
 This time is different.  You are in control and can create your own financial masterpiece.  You have the power to make this time different.  As you are creating your new normal and rebuilding your financial life, give yourself the opportunity to create your personal best.  What special trips would you like to experience with your children or friends?  What debt would you love to have paid off?   Wouldn’t it be great to work because you choose to not because you have no choices? 
 
 You are in the driver’s seat.  The decisions that you make as you are recreating yourself and your dreams will be impactful for many years to come.
 
So where do you start?  You first need to know where you are beginning.  Give yourself the grace to know you can’t change anything that happened in the past financially, but you can choose to make the future better. 

If you know from where you are starting, you can track your progress and see your accomplishments.  Begin a list of what you own and who you owe.  It doesn’t have to be anything technical.  Take a piece of notebook paper and begin to write it down.  Next, write down your expenses each month, not what you wish they were, but what they actually are.  Compare that with how much money comes in each month.  If there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the expenses, take out the pencil and decide what changes you are going to make for yourself.  You are in control now. 

Next dream a bit.  In a picture where you are the painter, how would you like that piece of notebook paperwork to look next year?  What would you like to pay off?  What would you like to have saved for?  Take those dreams and divide them into monthly amounts.  Take out your pencil again and make the changes that you need to make to fit those dreams into your monthly expenses.  Your dreams are worth it.  Pay towards them, just like you pay your cell phone bill.  Cut out the items you don’t value as much so that you can put your money where your heart is; where you want your dreams to take you. 

You can choose the best future for yourself financially.  It can be a scary step to take the blinders off and get started, but when you see that you are in control and you can make a more positive future for yourself and those you care about.  Taking that first difficult step to take control of your financial future is well worth the strife! 

It will feel so good to know you are creating your personal best!

Kirsten Ricketts


Kirsten Ricketts1Kirsten Ricketts, CFP
® is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.  It is Kirsten's passion to help people gain control of their financial futures; to give them information with which they can make choices for themselves and those they care about so they are empowered to achieve their personal best.  Kirsten graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a degree in Business Administration and an emphasis in Finance and Marketing with a minor in Leadership Communications.  She is currently an Advisor tot he MBA Research Executive Advisory Network.  She is a past member of the Millard Public Schools Superintendent Business Advisory Council and the Board of Directors for Nebraska DECA and the Nebraska DECA Business Partnership Networks.  Kirsten is involved in a small group bible study through Brookside Church.  Kirsten is a member of the Million Dollard Round Table each year she has been in the industry, including Court of the Table status from 2008 through 2012. Kirsten has her Series 6, 7, 24, 63, and 66 registrations along with her Life, Health and Annuity licenses.  She has her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. 

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