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Be Your Own Financial Valentine

By: Baylee Alerding

This Valentine’s Day, be your own financial Valentine. It’s a great time to reaffirm your commitment to your goals and make sure you’re on track to meet them. Here are a few ways to invest a little love in your plan.

 

Define Your Fairytale Ending

Staying true to your financial plan is easier when you know what you’re working towards. Take a moment to think about what your long and short-term goals are. Do you want to buy a house, get a new car, or take that trip you’ve always dreamed about? What about saving for retirement, or funding your child’s education? Both kinds of goals are important, so take some time to think about what financial success looks like for you now, and in the future.

Plan A Date Night with Your Budget

If it’s been a while since you’ve checked in with your budget, it may be time to evaluate if it’s still working for you. Honesty, loyalty, and compromise are essential in any healthy relationship, and they are for your budget as well.

Honesty – Your budget should be realistic, so be honest with yourself. Keep track of your spending and set achievable goals for each category.

Loyalty – Stick to your budget. Your budget should be flexible enough to allow you to cover unexpected costs and even some splurges. But, be sure your discretionary spending isn’t derailing your plan.

Compromise – Some months will have different priorities; you’ll need to compromise so you don’t overspend. If you need work done on your car, maybe wait until next month when you’ll have more discretionary cash to buy those new shoes or that new piece of furniture.

A good budget can allow you to balance what’s important now and what’s important later.

Commit to Your Savings

Pay yourself first. Don’t fall into the trap of saving whatever you have leftover at the end of the month, instead set up automatic deposits into your savings accounts.

The general rule is to save about 10% of your income, but that may vary depending on your financial situation and the goals you want to reach. A financial advisor can help you decide how much you should be saving to meet your goals.

You can use automation to fund your 401k, your emergency fund, and your “fun” fund (because we all need to treat ourselves with a vacation or splurge sometimes!). If you’re worried the change in your paycheck will be too much of a shock, try incrementally increasing the percentage you save per paycheck. You’ll hardly notice the difference, and before you know it, you’ll be meeting your percentage goal.

Putting in a little extra care and effort into your plan now can pay off big in the future. Take the time today to think about your goals and dreams and how being more intentional in your relationship with money can help you achieve them.

 

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.