Wellness isn’t only found in the yoga studio or at the bottom of a salad bowl. It’s also important to consider your financial wellness. Do you know where all of your money is going? And how prepped you are for an emergency? To help, consider the following tips from Tony D’Amico, CFP®, CEO and Senior Wealth Advisor at Fidato Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner.
Read, read, read. Financial literacy and reading go hand in hand, according to D’Amico. “To be financially literate, the easiest thing to do is to educate yourself and read as much as you can. The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Forbes are great places to start. Read the financial section of newspapers. Money Magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, AARP, USA Today, Market Watch and TheStreet.com all do a good job of explaining current events and financial topics,” says D’Amico.
Identify goals. It’s difficult to find the ideal destination without a roadmap. “Discuss your financial goals with your spouse, your parents or a trusted friend,” says D’Amico. “Conversations are key to uncovering things you haven’t thought of in your financial plan. You have a better chance of achieving your goals when you have defined them. And defining your goals with your family or a trusted friend allows them to support your plan.
“While you’re talking to those closest to you, it’s a good time to update your beneficiary forms. This should be an annual task as sometimes companies switch 401(k) providers and it’s possible that the beneficiaries don’t switch over,” adds D’Amico.
Try a spending app. “The first step toward getting your finances in order is getting some insight into your spending habits,” notes D’Amico. “You need to understand what you can afford to spend and then monitor your spending in real time. Seeing where your money goes can be an eye-opening exercise – and you should emerge more financially aware, if not more financially literate, as a result.
“Your bank’s app will likely give you some basic insight into your checking account, but you have better options for getting a more holistic view,” says D’Amico. “There are dozens of budgeting apps out there, but the best budgeting app will always be whatever works best for you.” Two to check out are http://www.Mint.com and http://www.claritymoney.com.
Attend a class. “If you really want to learn or master a subject, attend a class–even if it’s just one topic at a time. Take a college course or attend one of Fidato Wealth’s upcoming classes. Committing to a class and educating yourself will not only get you up to speed, but you will know what to watch for as the financial environment changes,” says D’Amico. “Make sure that the class you take is strictly educational with no sales pitch, so you can make the most informed evaluation,” adds D’Amico.
Talk with a professional. “It’s a good idea to work with a Certified Financial Planner, a professional who will help you evaluate your entire financial picture map to your goals,” says D’Amico. “A Certified Financial Planner goes through extensive training to earn the CFP® mark of distinction, which indicates that the advisor is competent and focused on professional financial planning. You also want to look for a fiduciary–someone who is legally obligated to put their clients’ best interests first.
“If you are going to seek out an expert, you need to know what their obligation is to you. Make sure they are required by law to put your best interest first. And, above all else, at all times, they are not just selling products. Any good advisor will make recommendations or give you other ideas to consider, but it’s ultimately your decision if you want to act on those suggestions,” adds D’Amico.
Source: Fidato Wealth