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Quiz: Are You and Your Partner Financially Compatible?

Are you and your partner in financial harmony? Establishing a financially secure future together is an invaluable act of love. Taking the time to sit down with your partner and explore your financial perspectives can strengthen your bond. Discuss and align your financial goals to ensure you’re both navigating in the same direction. Celebrate love not just with romantic gestures, but with the commitment to make wise financial decisions together. Here’s to a love-filled day underscored by the promise of a secure financial future!

In terms of your financial communication, do you and your partner:

  1. Regularly discuss financial matters
  2. Occasionally talk about finances
  3. Rarely discuss money matters

It’s never too late to start discussing your finances! Building a life together with your partner involves frequent financial choices. Get in the habit of discussing financial matters early on to build a financial future full of both of your needs, wants, and wishes. 

How do you envision your ideal retirement together?

  1. Traveling and enjoying your leisure
  2. Living a frugal and comfortable life
  3. We haven’t discussed our retirement plans.

Having a conversation with your partner about retirement will help you develop a retirement plan to meet both your goals. Speak with your financial advisor about each of your retirement goals and carefully evaluate your current financial health to properly craft a financial plan to ensure a happy retirement.

In the event of a financial windfall, what would you and your partner prioritize?

  1. Saving and investing
  2. Paying off debts
  3. Splurging on a shared experience

Life is full of uncertainties, but there is a way to prepare for them financially. Consider risk management to protect your wealth during unexpected circumstances. Have you considered diversifying your investment portfolio? Do you have an emergency fund? Sit down with your financial advisor to create a risk management strategy to ensure you are prepared in the event of a financial windfall. 

How do you and your partner handle budgeting?

  1. We create a joint budget together
  2. Each manages their own finances
  3. We don’t have a specific budgeting strategy

Whether you and your partner have a financial plan together or separately, it is important to maintain a budget to ensure a healthy financial future. If you are struggling to create a budget, talk to your financial advisor. Together, you can come up with a plan fit to your unique financial situation and goals. 

Chocolate and flowers may steal the spotlight this Valentine’s Day, but remember financial planning is an act of love and the heart of your family’s future! Setting the groundwork for a stable future through financial planning is a powerful way to show your loved ones just how much you care about their well-being. Contact the Blakely Financial team today to get started. 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Monstrous Money Mistakes

It may be the season of spooky haunts and horrors, but don’t let these monstrous money mistakes lead you to the financial graveyard!

Investment Zombies

Don’t neglect your investment strategies. Just like zombies mindlessly wander, not actively managing investments can lead to missed opportunities or poor performance, even for high earners. Revisit and reevaluate your investment portfolio periodically to be sure you are diversifying your investments and maximizing your returns. Talking to your financial advisor can help you avoid an investment zombie apocalypse.

Estate Planning Ghouls

Failing to create a comprehensive estate plan can haunt families after a high-earning individual passes away. This mistake can lead to unnecessary taxes, legal battles, and confusion over asset distribution. Meet with your financial professional to discuss the best estate planning options for you and your loved ones. Review your plan annually and make adjustments to reflect any life changes that may occur.

Lifestyle Vampire

This monstrous money mistake involves succumbing to lifestyle inflation. High earners might start spending excessively as their income rises, without properly considering the long-term impact on savings and investments. Don’t bite off more than you can chew with your spending.  It is crucial to find a balance between your desired lifestyle and your long-term financial goals and well-being to really enjoy life to the fullest. 

Debt Demons

Credit card ghouls, student loan specters, and mortgage monstrosities. Oh my! These debt demons come in many forms and can feel like never-ending financial nightmares if not managed properly. Be sure to explore interest rates and different repayment options to pay down your debt, and even consider refinancing your loans or mortgage to make payments more manageable. Utilizing a budget can help you do this more easily. Exorcize these debt demons and keep control of your financial future!

Budget Banshee

You’ll hear the eerie wails of the budget banshees if you neglect proper budgeting. The shrieks serve as haunting reminders of overspending, impulse purchases, debt, disorganized finances, and unexpected expenses. Create a budget unique to your financial situation by tracking your income and expenses and establishing your financial goals. Explore where you may be able to save and remain disciplined when it comes to your spending. Don’t forget to factor an emergency fund into your budgeting to cushion the impact of any unexpected financial shock! Evaluate your financial health routinely and adjust your budget accordingly to banish the budget banshees. 

If you need help battling these monstrous money mistakes, contact Blakely Financial today. 

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
The Importance of Establishing a Budget in the New Year

Establishing Your 2023 Financial Goals

As we enter 2023, there is constant talk about New Year’s resolutions and how to make this year better than the last. If you’re looking to start this year on the right foot, your finances are a great place to start. Below are tips to get started and a few ideas to keep you on track. 

1. Examine your financial goals

Before you establish a budget, you should examine your financial goals. Start by making a list of your short-term goals (e.g., new car, vacation) and your long-term goals (e.g., your child’s college education, retirement). Next, ask yourself: How important is it for me to achieve this goal? How much will I need to save? Armed with a clear picture of your goals, you can work toward establishing a budget that can help you reach them. At Blakely Financial, we often refer to your needs, wants, and wishes. This method can work for retirement as well as monthly budgeting.

2. Identify your current monthly income and expenses

To develop a budget that is appropriate for your lifestyle, you’ll need to identify your current monthly income and expenses. You can jot the information down with a pen and paper, or you can use one of the many software programs available that are designed specifically for this purpose.

Start by adding up all of your income. In addition to your regular salary and wages, be sure to include other types of income, such as dividends, interest, and child support. Next, add up all of your expenses. To see where you have a choice in your spending, it helps to divide them into two categories: fixed expenses (e.g., housing, food, clothing, transportation) and discretionary expenses (e.g., entertainment, vacations, hobbies). You’ll also want to make sure that you have identified any out-of-pattern expenses, such as holiday gifts, car maintenance, home repair, and so on. To make sure that you’re not forgetting anything, it may help to look through canceled checks, credit card bills, and other receipts from the past year. Finally, as you list your expenses, it is important to remember your financial goals. Whenever possible, treat your goals as expenses and contribute toward them regularly.

3. Evaluate your budget

Once you’ve added up all of your income and expenses, compare the two totals. To get ahead, you should be spending less than you earn. If this is the case, you’re on the right track, and you need to look at how well you use your extra income. If you find yourself spending more than you earn, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Look at your expenses closely and cut down on your discretionary spending. And remember, if you do find yourself coming up short, don’t worry! All it will take is some determination and a little self-discipline, and you’ll eventually get it right.

4. Monitor your budget

You’ll need to monitor your budget periodically and make changes when necessary. But keep in mind that you don’t have to keep track of every penny that you spend. In fact, the less record-keeping you have to do, the easier it will be to stick to your budget. Above all, be flexible. Any budget that is too rigid is likely to fail. So be prepared for the unexpected (e.g., a leaky roof, failed car transmission).

Tips to help you stay on track

  • Involve the entire family: Agree on a budget up front and meet regularly to check your progress
  • Stay disciplined: Try to make budgeting a part of your daily routine
  • Start your new budget at a time when it will be easy to follow and stick with the plan (e.g., the beginning of the year, as opposed to right before the holidays)
  • Find a budgeting system that fits your needs (e.g., budgeting software)
  • Establish your needs, wants, and wishes.
  • Build rewards into your budget (e.g., eat out every other week)
  • Avoid using credit cards to pay for everyday expenses: It may seem like you’re spending less, but your credit card debt will continue to increase

Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.