Hi! Welcome back to #FitFriday. Many people are feeling anxious about the health of the economy and the potential impacts on their financial health for the remainder of 2022. We are all feeling the impacts of increased food and gas prices, price increases due to supply chain constraints, and convenience fees appearing on our purchase invoices and spending receipts. A good financial plan will help to keep you on track for obtaining your overall financial goals. Here are 5 steps you can take to maintain balance and financial wellness:
1) Review your investments. We all get our insurance and investment statements in the mail, but when is the last time you actually spent the time to read the entire document? It is critical that you review your portfolio periodically to assess the status of your assets. With age, your investment portfolio will change. For instance, people are often open to high risk high return investments at a young age. That changes over time. As you age, you may become more conservative in your investments. It's a good time to schedule a check in with your financial advisor to evaluate your current investment strategies. A quick phone call to set up a 30 minute consulation can provide great peace of mind.
2) Examine unnecessary expenses. Managing money isn't easy and requires an honest look at your financial habits, biases, expectations and cash flow. One of the major goals of the review is to examine spending habits and patterns. While we may aim to follow pre set spending goals, many are unaware of their actual spending habits. The first suggestion is to keep a regular spreadsheet that tracks monthly income and expenses. Chances are that you will find unnecessary expenses or unhealthy spending patterns, such as ongoing subscriptions for things you aren't currently using. This may require a bit of upkeep and tracking down forgotten passwords to cancel unused accounts, but the monthly cost savings adds up. Identification of these patterns is the first step to getting a handle on them. It can also help you plan for unforseen expenses.
3) Automate your savings or investments. One of the safest ways to maintain regular savings patterns is to automate them. You can set up automatic transfers to come out of your monthly checkbook right into your savings or retirement accounts. Be sure to set up these automatic transfers in sync with your income cycle and expenses to ensure sufficient funds in your account on the dates of the automatic transfers. This will also ensure you don't miss life insurance payments, or premiums. This will help you to build and maintain financial savings and investments disciplines.
4) Strengthen your emergency funds. The last couple of years have highlighted the need for a financial savings account or nest egg to help you through tough times. Having those savings on hand helps to avoid anxiety and panic during troubling times. An emergency fund is designed to provide us with a financial fallback in the case of an adverse event, such as a loss of income. It can also help with unplanned expenses, such as major repairs to your home or automobile. To avoid overspending or dipping into this fund, it is best to place them in a separate savings account or money market account which can grow while also allowing you access to quick cash, in case you need it.
5) Review your debt and be willing to restructure your budget. Mortgage debt can feel like a heavy burden, but it is often a necessary part of every day modern life. And in some cases, it may be even better than making heavy cash purchases for every expenditure. That said, it's always better to know your debts and prioritize them according to interest rate. It's best to pay off high interest rate debts first. Reviewing your debts and payments is necessary for creating a practical budget. You can keep tweaking it as you rework your investment decisions throughout the year.
Strong financial health has a direct impact on our wellbeing. It can help us meet our essential and non-essential needs, explore our full potential and allow us to lead a life on our own terms. As we grow older, it allows us to take time off, provide for loved ones and ensure good medical health care and support. It's important to understand you and your partner's financial goals and explore ways to align the two.
At Shaffer Realty and Shaffer Real Estate it is our goal to empower you with the best information--to help you evaluate--and make the best home purchasing financial decisions for your family. Contact us today to schedule a free home investment consultation. See you soon! Warmly, Susan