Just like making dinner for a hungry family, planning for your financial future requires flexibility and creativity. Begin with where you are and what you have. Map out where you want to go. Design plans A, B and C to help you get there with grace as you find some ingredients missing from time to time. Who knows, those last minute substitutions could be the makings of a wonderful new recipe.
When I meet or talk on the phone with someone who is experiencing a financial crisis, such as the loss of a job or spiraling debt, I try to bring the focus toward immediate next steps that can help bring relief. It is not until after this crisis is addressed that we can move on to bigger picture goals. The first thing to do is to recognize that you are not alone in your experience and that there are steps you can take to make things better day by day.