I’ve been meaning to…
Understand my 401(k)
Create a budget
Make a plan for my financial future
Talk to my partner about money
Save for retirement
One of the things I hear the most is that people have been “meaning to” take a look at their finances for a while. We all do it – avoid our bank statements when we know we spent too much or harbor a dream such as becoming a homeowner, but are at a standstill because we have no idea how to get started. Taking the first step is often the hardest part of the process. We practice avoidance because once our finances are in the harsh light of day, we then have to take responsibility for the decisions that we may not be so proud of. This is where you’re not unique – we all have skeletons in our closets. Your financial advisor has most likely heard it all before. Don’t let fear of judgment be an obstacle to seeking help with your finances. Being honest with yourself and your financial advisor (if you have one) is key to setting you up for potential success.
The first step to confronting the monster under the bed is to put all your financials out on the table. Collect statements for your investment and banking accounts, loans and credit cards. Discover the value of your assets and liabilities and create a balance sheet.
After you’ve assessed what you have now, it’s time to think about what you want later. Think big and small, short- and long- term. Maybe you want to buy a new car or home, take a European vacation, or be free from debt. Farther down the road you’ll probably want to retire (sooner rather than later!), leave a legacy for your children, or know your spouse is taken care of no matter what life throws at you.
The space between the now and the later is where the financial planning happens. Although your goals and dreams may seem near impossible, many times a few tweaks to your habits can help set you on the right path. We believe tamping down your spending, upping your contributions, or investing your existing cash savings (to name a few options) can dramatically change your ability to live the life you envisioned. This is especially true if you’re still on the younger side, as you should have plenty of time. If you are worried about getting sick later in life or what will happen to your spouse if you pass away unexpectedly, it may be time to explore your insurance options. Thinking about these issues now can save you a lot of headache later. As the scout motto says, “be prepared”.
Seem overwhelming? You don’t have to face the monster alone. Elevation can help get you where you want to go and be by your side for all of it.
This is meant for educational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions. (06/20)