Charcuterie boards are all the craze lately, one of those social media trends going viral. There are traditional meat and cheese, dessert boards, breakfast boards even hot chocolate ones. Now in reality charcuterie translates to cold cuts, but I am going to be creative. So with alittle out-of-the-box thinking, I give you the financial charcuterie board.
The board, that's going to represent you and your life. Now the board may change slightly. Think of it as life changes you may need a bigger board to fit all those delicious foods. As life changes there may be multiple accounts for retirement, emergency funds, and savings. Could even be as your family grows, starting out single, then married with kids, or married to becoming a widow. This could also be multiple goals, such as planning to purchase a home, saving for college, and planning for retirement. These changes are a part of the foundation for what is on the board. Now let's get into the foods.
The meats represent your goals. There are different types of goals, and different time frames to get to each one. Each one is different but important for creating the full picture of your goals!
The cheese represents your assets and income. How you combine them with your goals really matters. There is only so much income and assets so we need to plan how it is divided when working towards your goals and creating your customized plans. What meats, cheese, fruits, nuts, or other things are needed to really bring out the best from your income and assets?
The crackers, crostinis, or bread this is the foundation for putting all those foods together. In our case, this is the budget and the financial plan. This takes the income, assets, debts, and goals to create the plan. Then you adjust it over time. You may change and adjust your plan just as you wouldn't eat the same thing off the charcuterie board.
Fruit represents estate planning. What exactly does that mean? Wills, power of attorney, health care proxy documents, maybe even insurance. These add extra protection and give you more control over your financials and assets. The fruit adds a layer of sweetness that compliments the surrounding foods on the board, just as these documents complement your overall financial plan.
Nuts or olives represent debt. I actually love nuts and olives but think their use on a charcuterie is perfect for debt. It doesn't necessarily have to be on the board and you do not have to go into debt. You may want some nuts and/or olives on your board, you may find ways to leverage debt to benefit your financial situation. On the other hand, if there are too many nuts and olives on the board, there isn't a balance between ingredients, just as too much debt can be a challenge when financial planning. I said a challenge not impossible. The financial plan created can help manage debt while still planning and saving for goals.
Now every time you see a charcuterie board, I hope you think of your finances. Then of course enjoy the charcuterie!