COMMON MISTAKES IN FINANCIAL PLANNING
Getting your finances in order is no easy task. With everything else going on in your daily life — be it work projects, your social life, or family time — it can be hard to regularly sit down and get your finances in order to make sure you’re on track for all your saving goals. We strongly encourage you to find at least once a month to review your finances and here are some financial planning pitfalls to watch out for.
- Not even planning
By thinking about your finances, you are already one step ahead. The biggest mistake in financial planning is to not even have a plan. Figure out what you want to save for, how much you need for retirement, and how much you want to save each month. Start small and slowly set financial goals to build the lifestyle you want.
- Sharing accounts? Share your plans for the future, too
If you plan to get married or are already married, we’d hope you two already talked about your financial goals and plans. Being on the same page with your spouse is crucial to establishing a life together, especially with finances. Are you planning to buy a house? How are you going to pay for it? What are your spending and saving habits?
Not only should you be talking with your spouse, if you have children, make sure to communicate to them your financial intentions, as suggested by Altius Financial. More likely than not, they’ll end up taking care of you and may have to settle your estate. Talking with them can also ensure they have some level of financial security. It’ll be preparation and good thinking all around.
- Get an estate plan
Unfortunately, we aren’t invincible. No one wants to plan for their death, but the inevitable can hit at any time and having a plan is better than no plan at all. This is one of the areas where it’s worth it to seek an attorney’s help according to NerdWallet, mostly because it’s essential to have someone with experience and knowledge of estate planning.
- Taxes are a thing, and they cost money
Individual taxes make up roughly 48 percent of all federal revenues and thus are the federal government’s largest source of revenue according to the Drew Desilver’s article in the Pew Research Center, so it should be no surprise they can take up a large portion of your budget. Sales tax and income tax might come less as a shock when it’s deducted bit by bit throughout the year, but remembering the existence of property tax can help you stay prepared when tax season comes around.
- Paying off debt? Don’t stop saving
While it’s important to bring your debt down to zero, it’s just as important to make sure you’re saving enough for your emergency fund and also putting money toward your future, Shanna Tingom from Kiplinger suggests. Especially with your retirement, make sure time is on your side, even if it means you can only save a little at a time. You might not pay off your debt faster, but saving while paying off loans can help you land in a better financial situation down the road.
- Consult the professionals
When you’re create your own financial plan, there are plenty of things you can and should do by yourself, but it’s also important to talk to a professional and get an “outsider’s” input. As Altius Financial states, consulting a financial planner can help you look at your finances in ways you never knew you needed to, and best yet, they can help you find money in areas you never knew existed. Enlisting the help of a professional can increase your knowledge base and help get you a stronger track for your finances and future.
All in all, finances impact almost every aspect of our lives, so it’s essential to keep our budgets, saving goals and spending habits in check. This absolutely does not serve as a comprehensive list of common mistakes, but hopefully it’ll get you started thinking on how to improve your financial planning.