Financial Planning in 5 Easy Tips

by Kristina on May 2, 2013 · 5 comments

Good morning Dinks.  Let me ask you a question – how many of you manage your finances yourself and how many actually have a financial planner? Having a financial planner can be a great benefit and a powerful resource provided by your financial institution.

There are several ways that people can prepare their finances to be as efficient as possible such as budgeting to make sure that you can afford everything you want, saving for your personal goals, investing wisely and cutting costs wherever you can.  Of course tax planning and estate planning are also a big part of your overall financial wellbeing, but first we have to start with the basics.

5 tips to help your finances get a little bit healthier:

1. Set a budget so that you can afford the life you want. Of course income plays a big factor in our lifestyle but so does budgeting.  Sometimes we have to work with what we’ve got and that means budgeting.  If you want to buy things that you can’t afford you either have to cut your expenses to have more disposable income or you have to make more money in order to have more money.

Budgeting can help you live the lifestyle you want. You may be wasting money on unnecessary expenses and you don’t even know it yet. A good way to track your spending is to sign up for an online budgeting tool and link it to your bank accounts and credit cards. This will show your spending patterns and show you where you may be spending unnecessarily.

2. Don’t forget to save. We all have goals that we want to achieve whether they are financial, personal or career focused.  Maybe you want to save towards buying a home or taking your dream vacation. Maybe you want to save for a big personal purchase such as a car or wedding and maybe your goal is to go back to school to get your dream job. All of your goals require savings and that’s why it’s so important to calculate your savings into your budget – to make sure that you keep saving.

3. Invest regularly and keep it going. Setting up pre authorized payments from your checking account to your various investment accounts and let your money work for you.  If you only save money when you have some money left over after paying all of your bills you will probably never save. So pay yourself first and invest in your future with automatic payments  every week, two weeks or on a monthly basis.

4. Invest wisely with the right asset mix.  Being a good investor is not about trying to time the market. Being a smart investor is about having the right asset allocation to limit your losses during market downturns and maximizing your profit during bullish markets. Make sure that your retirement portfolio and other investment accounts are well diversified between income and equity along with domestic and foreign investments.

5. Don’t pay fees if you don’t have to. One major way that we can increase our income is cut our budget. The less money you pay on service fees the more money you can save. Most bank fees are negotiable and so are most other service fees. Before you pay a fee (for anything) try and negotiate it.

Photo by images of money