Getting a hold on your personal finances is one of the most important steps to living the life you want, because so many of your goals and activities in life are tied to money in some way. If you are experiencing difficulties in making ends meet, or if you are struggling to make progress toward your financial goals, meeting with a professional can help you choose a clear path toward a future of financial freedom. Here are five ways a financial planner can help.
Create a Personal Family Budget
The first place to begin any kind of financial makeover is to take a look at your monthly income and expenses and put together a budget to make sure that everything gets covered. Your budget is your master plan for money management. Everything else fits into it and is subject to it. A trained financial planner can help you create a realistic budget that will fit your needs and goals.
Automate Monthly Spending and Expenses
Have you and your partner ever opened up your mail to find a notice from your bank of one or more overdraft fees? Or maybe you got your credit card bill to see that it never got paid last month and now there’s a late fee? Isn’t that frustrating? Each of you thought that the other one had paid a bill, only to find that nobody paid it.
One solution to this problem is to automate those recurring bills. Your planner can help you figure out how to automate some of your monthly expenses and avoid those annoying fees.
Create a Plan for Debt Reduction
Credit card debt, auto loans and college debt plague many people today. In fact, it’s rare to find a single person who isn’t carrying some kind of debt load. No wonder everyone is always so stressed out!
The path to financial freedom often includes a serious plan of attacking debt. Whether you need to increase your income or reduce your spending to achieve it, debt reduction should be a major priority. So creating a plan for paying down your debt will be one of your financial consultant’s highest priorities.
Save and Invest for Retirement
With your debt under control, the next piece of the puzzle will be to invest for your future and max out your retirement accounts as soon as possible. A financial professional can help you learn about the various options out there for retirement planning and will show you which methods and types of accounts will work for you, your budget and your time frame.
Help with Estate Planning
Lastly, you’ll want to discuss your estate plans and make sure that everything is laid out in advance for your later years in life. When you are gone, your family will benefit by having clearly laid out instructions regarding the division of your property. Even though it might seem like this is so far away, the sooner you have a plan in place, the better. The last thing you want is your beneficiaries to harbor ill will toward each other as they disagree about how best to divide your assets in the absence of a will.
Planning your financial future can be a daunting task. There are so many variables to consider and so many things that you might not have even thought about yet. This is why hiring a financial planner can be a good move in helping your figure out these five aspects of financial planning above along with any others not mentioned.