Money issues & future planning tend to be aspects of our lives that we avoid when we can or when life gets too busy. But, this is one of those things (like going to the doctor regularly) that you should not put off.
Why? Because it can have a huge impact on your future life and, as recent studies show, on your current feelings of overall well-being. Your financial security can affect your overall well-being as strongly as your job satisfaction, relationship stability and physical health COMBINED!
And, did you realize that saving just $5 a week starting today, could turn into almost $25,000 with a 6% return over 15 years? Change that $5 to $10 and you’ll have saved almost $50,000. But, if you put that off even 5 years the amount you save drops by almost $25,000!
In the recent New York Times article, Why You Should Hire a Financial Planner, Lizz Schumer and a handful of financial experts discussed a few steps we felt helped give that little push to get started!
#1. Getting professional help can really help!
We reach out for support in many other areas of our lives but sometimes we don’t want to deal with our issues with money so we continue to push it to the back burner. Sometimes, just getting someone on your team can be the push you need to help you really transform this area of your life. Talk to one of our Financial Specialists today for an easy way to get started.
#2. Determine what your long- and short-term goals are.
What do you want your money to do for you? What do you want it to provide? Now, here’s the big question…why? Really spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish in your life where may money play a role. Sometimes having concrete goals to aim for can give us that push we need to get started.
#3. Write down where you currently spend your money.
Just starting with the act of what you spend and when can be very eye opening. There are lots of apps and tools that can help here. We like Pennies and Fearless Finance (built by our very own Financial Planner Specialist, Lori Atwood) but this can be a very personalized tool so make sure whatever you use fits into your life. Pick one today and start tracking your spending for a few weeks. Force yourself to think a little more about how you spend. Does your spending align with your goals?
#4. Get a plan.
Whether you build it yourself or have a professional help you build it, make sure you have a financial budget and plan and check in with it regularly (every quarter is a great time to check in!) Prioritize your goals and make it happen!
While you can do all of this yourself, if you refer back to #1, having a professional on your side can really be an asset. They can help you stay on track. They can catch items that otherwise might fall through the cracks. They can advise you to give you a better chance of achieving your goals. As one expert states, it’s kind of like WebMD, ‘you can look up symptoms but there’s a limit to what you can do with that information.’
Don’t worry; you don’t need a certain amount of money to hire a financial advisor. There are great advisors out there that can fit the needs of any budget. And, your financial advisor will likely be with you for the long haul so make sure you pick someone who you trust. Your finances are one of those areas in life where brutal honesty is your friend!
We’ve done the work for you!
Finally, remember that getting a handle on your financials won’t happen overnight but if you start taking a few steps and get some help to navigate you on your path, you’ll get there.. And most of all…have fun. Once you get started, working with your finances can really empower your life!