Authored by Robert Blakely, CFP®, ChFC, AIF®
Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Chances are, your resolutions revolve around getting more sleep, spending more time with loved ones, eating better and going to the gym every day. But have you resolved to get your finances in check? In a recent survey, 87 percent of Americans said nothing makes them happier or more confident than healthy finances. Can you say that you are content with your financial health and well-being?
Achieving money–related balance and financial wellness isn’t necessarily about investing a set dollar amount or your ability to pay for something expensive without flinching. It’s much broader. It is about getting your entire house in order. It can be as simple as chatting about starting your travel fund, saving $20 a month or whether or not your company offers a 401(k) match. Financial independence affords us the opportunity to live the life that we want. It is about developing a healthy relationship with money and feeling a sense of control over short-term obligations while working toward those long-term goals.
One essential first step towards financial wellness is actively talking about your finances. That is not to say you have to divulge personal details about your savings and debt to your whole group of friends, but choosing a mentor or meeting with a financial advisor to put together an action plan can help.
Planning for financial wellness includes the following steps:
Develop goals and set priorities.
What do you want to accomplish? Where do you want to be? When do you want to be there?
Assess current assets and resources.
Document your financial snapshot currently. Know where you are starting from.
Identify barriers to reaching your goals.
If you are confused about a particular topic, like the different types of retirement funds offered, ask questions. There are plenty of free resources online to help learn the basics of financial literacy. And that financial advisor you contact will be your best resource to guide you down the path of financial wellness.
Incorporate strategies into your plan.
Commit to small steps to improve your current financial situation. Bring your lunch to work a few days a week; set up an automatic transfer each month to your savings account; forego that expensive cup of coffee each day –small changes each day can make a big difference and build confidence and discipline over time.
Put the plan into action.
Be sure to celebrate the milestones along the way. Those small accomplishments will continue to push you towards success as you gain that financial well-being you so deserve.
Monitor your progress, evaluate where you are and adjust the plan as necessary.
Be flexible and respond to change. When necessary, reset the course which will bring you back to Step 1, and the process continues. Financial planning is not a one-time event. It is an ever-changing, ongoing journey, providing the framework for achieving short and long-term goals on your quest for financial wellness.
Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at www.blakelyfinancial.com to see what other expert advice we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Robert Blakely, CFP® is a financial advisor with Blakely Financial, Inc. located at 1022 Hutton Ln., Suite 109, High Point, NC 27262. He is the founder and president of Blakely Financial, Inc. celebrating 25 years in business.
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.