Planning Your Finances

The key to a healthy financial portfolio is to make sure that your financial fundamentals are solid.  Like a house, if you have a weak foundation you could face disaster at any moment, but if you have a strong foundation, you can withstand the test of time.  Before you go wild trying to invest in risky ventures or throwing your money at get rich quick schemes, build  solid financial foundation.  Plan your finances correctly.

Budgeting

The first step to a healthy pocketbook is to learn how to budget your money.  You have income and you have your expenditures.  At the most basic, you want your income to exceed your expenses.
Take some time and write out a list of your expenses and balance this list against your total income.  This will quickly give you a picture of where your finances stand.  You will be able to quickly see where your money is going and determine if you are financially healthy.

Cut Your Expenses

Once you sit down and have a list of all your regular expenses, you can then go over your list  to see if there are any expenses that are optional.  Come up with a plan to cut down or eliminate your optional expenses.  Then stick to this plan.
For example. you may find out that you are spending much more on television or phone utilities than necessary.  If this is the case, you can cut down on these bills and position yourself to where your income is greater than your expenses.

Get Out of Debt

Once you have your budget mastered, take a look at your debt situation.  Do you have student loans?  A mortgage?  Credit card bills?  Strategize your extra money to try to get out of debt as quickly as possible.  Quite often, people don’t realize that eliminating debt is the same as saving money.  Every dollar that is removed from the negative column goes into the positive.  The big difference is that not only are you gaining that money, but you don’t have to pay interest on it.

Plan For the Future

Once you have extra money, you want to plan for the future.  Many people do this by putting their money into various retirement options or other investment options.  In truth, any kind of investment is putting money towards your future.  Plan wisely.  A good investment means a stable and high reward future, while a poor investment can mean losing your money.

Beyond the Basics

These days personal finances can be complicated.  There are new and complex ways to save and invest your money.  These new financial instruments have different consequences that can affect your taxes and your financial outlook.  More and more, people are turning to the assistance of professional financial advisers to assist them manage and direct their finances.  If you’ve mastered the basics, you may want to consider getting a financial adviser.

A financial adviser is a professional who can help you maintain your finances.  They will help you reach your target balance of investment income, savings, retirement at an acceptable level of risk.  A good financial adviser will give reliable advice about propper asset allocation and help you keep a healthy financial portfolio.

Financial advisers such as Gibson Hewitt can provide a variety of financial planning and legal services that cover a variety of areas such as:
  • Pension schemes
  • life assurance
  • Critical illness cover
  • Private medical insurance and care planning
  • individual savings accounts
  • investments
A good financial adviser also maintains a wide range of professional contacts that they can refer to their clients to ensure that they are getting the most reliable professional advice for their needs.
Primarily, a good financial advisor will help in the future planning of your financial affairs and give you advice about how to diversify your money to reach your goals.  Quite often a financial adviser will help you plan both your short term investment goals as well as your long term goals for future retirement.  They will also be receptive to your needs and your risk tolerance to balance your investments in the manner that suits your needs.
The key to a good financial plan is building a solid foundation.  Whether your finances are complicated or you just need a little help budgeting, a financial adviser will help you build that solid foundation.

Article written by

Richard is a full time professional, husband, father and blogger juggling all the responsibilities of life and running a blog. Richard enjoys writing about life and online money matters.

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