Let’s say that you have a budget that you stick to pretty well. You have a savings account. You even put money into your 401 k each month! These are all wonderful steps to take in order to stay on top of your finances, but not many people know the more in-depth tips and tricks to feel financially wise and prepared for whatever issues may arise. We at Kennedy Financial & Insurance Services Inc. know what it takes to feel total control over our finances, and we are here to share that knowledge with you. For more tips, please contact our financial advisors today!
Tip 1: Learn more about the foundation of your finances and your plan.
Think about when you were growing up and in school. Did you ever learn much about personal finance? Even many people with business degrees learned more about how to deal with business finances, not personal ones. Most people don’t learn how to effectively handle money management until they learn how to do it on their own. Unfortunately, for some people who have a financially-savvy partner, they never learn what to do.
It’s important to educate yourself on the best ways to handle your money before you’re left on your own and handling things by yourself. Here are a few suggestions to gain a better understanding of how to manage your money:
- Take a personal finance class at a local college. They may be able to teach you more about budgets, writing checks, and more if you don’t already have that knowledge.
- Find some good books about managing your money and take thorough notes.
- Contact a friend or family member who handles their finances in a way that you admire. You can ask more about their top tips for success and learn from their example.
- Spend at least an hour each month looking over your current financial position.
- Contact a financial advisor and have them help you understand the basics of financial planning.
While these won’t make you an expert, it will certainly help you build a foundation on which you can understand your finances even better than before.
Tip 2: Discover what it is you need.
What matters most in your life? Financial planning is not just about creating a budget and sticking to it; it’s about finding a way to make your finances fit the type of life you want to lead. The best way to make sure that you stick to your plan is to make sure it leaves room for things that matter most to you. Do you look forward to taking a yearly vacation? Then make sure your plan accounts for this passion of yours and design some way to save for your trip during the year!
Tip 3: Learn what your current spending habits are, and figure out how best to change them.
You probably aren’t perfect at handling your money, and that’s okay right now. That’s why we are here! Most people learn how to handle (or not to handle) their money at home from their parents. For many people, that means growing up with parents who wouldn’t spend a dime because they remember living through the Great Depression. For others, it means that they grew up learning that the person who bought the most expensive items on the block was the winner. Neither of these mentalities is useful.
If you grew up with a negative view of money, that can be difficult to overcome. Some people are terrified of spending any money whatsoever, while others can’t seem to stop spending. Neither of these groups has it right. Having balance is essential in achieving our goals, whether they are to have a solid savings account for our children’s college fund, or whether they are to travel more. Don’t miss out on experiences in the name of saving, but make plans for the future that you can prepare for financially now. A balance does exist, and you can find it by working with a financial advisor.
Tip 4: Talk about your financial plan with your loved ones.
Your financial plan obviously involves some personal information, so some people choose to keep it to themselves. Don’t make the mistake of storing your financial plan with your will and life insurance. Eventually, everyone gets to a point when they can no longer care for themselves the way they used to. When this happens to you, make sure that your loved ones know exactly what it is you have in mind for your future. The more you discuss your goals, dreams, and the rationale behind your financial choices, the more people will understand what it is you want out of life, even when you can’t handle your finances yourself.
Some families and even spouses struggle with talking about money with one another. Finding a good financial planner is a great way to have a mediator to cover all the bases with everyone involved. We think it’s a great idea to talk about your financial plans with your family at least once per year.
Taking Control with Kennedy Financial & Insurance Services Inc.
You can take control of your financial plan by working with us. The better you feel about your plan, the easier it will be to adhere to it when push comes to shove. In the end, it needs to mean something to you. If you would like to learn more about how we can help, make sure to contact us today!