Tips and resources for doing your own financial planning
Everyone says to go to a financial expert for help, but what if you don’t have the finances to afford one yet? You need to build your wealth before you can hire someone to manage it. Those advisors are expensive! If you need help now but can’t dish out the dollars to seek outside help, follow these tips to take care of your financial planning on your own.
Know your goals
The first step to accomplishing your financial goals is knowing what they are. You should create a list of well-defined, structured objectives that are reasonable to achieve. They can include savings goals, salary expectations, and intentions to lower your debt. Set milestones so you can track your progress as you accomplish each goal.
Create a budget plan
The cornerstone of any financial plan is a budget. Take a month or so to track your spending. It’s okay if you find yourself becoming embarrassed at how much you spend on frivolous things, that’s the whole point! Once you know where you spend and where you could be spending less, create a budget plan and keep some kind of tracker to make sure you stick to it.
Look to financial institutions
Identify your current financial institutions and browse their website to find free resources like blogs or downloadable brochures. A lot of these providers host a variety of budgeting plans and financial-planning tools for you to peruse at your leisure, no payment necessary! They may not be all-inclusive, but they will certainly get you started on your new financial plan.
Research options for investing to start building your financial backing. Look up automated services like robo-advisors, or use an app like Acorns, which automatically invests for you according to your goal and preferences. You can choose from a range of investing options, and then just set it and forget it! Before you know it, you’ll be collecting a good chunk of change with hardly any effort!
Start a nest egg
Along with investing, start lining your savings account, or perhaps start a tax-free savings account (TFSA). Start by putting in about $50 a week or a set amount of each paycheck, whatever you feel comfortable with, and increase the amount as your finances get more stable or as your income grows. Then you’ll have a reasonable rainy day fund to use when you need it!