February 7, 2023
When it comes to managing your financial life, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the bigger picture. But even if you’re generally on top of things, there are certain things you should be doing – and not doing – right now to ensure your financial health.
Popular Procrastinations – Do These First
We all have a tendency to put off certain tasks, and when it comes to our finances, there are a few that tend to get put off more than others. But the best way to tackle these procrastinations is to take the next best step towards getting them done.
That step might be as simple as making a five-minute phone call or sending an email. But by taking that step, you’ll set the wheels in motion for the rest of the tasks that need to be done.
Get your estate planning done.
This is an important step in ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. It’s important to review your estate plan every few years, or whenever there’s a significant change in your life (such as a marriage or the birth of a child).
Implement a password vault.
With so many online accounts and services, it’s borderline impossible to keep track of all your passwords and not repeat any of them. A password vault allows you to securely store all your login information in one place, making it easier to protect your accounts from hackers.
Look at your investment choices.
As an investor, it’s important to regularly review your portfolio to make sure it aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. This may involve reallocating assets, selling underperforming investments, or adding new positions.
Do an insurance review with your insurance agent.
Your insurance needs can change over time, so it’s important to review your coverage with your agent to make sure you have the right amount and type of insurance to protect yourself and your family.
Invest in yourself and manage your career.
Your career is one of your most valuable assets, so it’s important to invest in your professional development and take steps to advance your career.
Remember the Basics
In the midst of all the complex financial decisions you’ll make in your life, it’s easy to forget about the basics. But these fundamentals are the foundation of your financial plan, and they’re just as important as the more advanced strategies.
Maximize your retirement plan contributions if that’s part of your plan.
By contributing as much as you can to your retirement plan, you’ll be taking advantage of the tax benefits and compound interest that can help you reach your retirement goals.
Determine whether the Roth or the traditional plan is the best choice for you.
Both Roth and traditional retirement plans have their own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the differences and choose the one that aligns with your goals and tax situation.
Maximize your health savings account at work if you have one.
A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings account that you can use to pay for qualified medical expenses. By contributing as much as you can to your HSA, you’ll be taking advantage of the tax benefits and saving for future healthcare expenses.
Make sure your cash reserve account is adequate.
Having a cash reserve is an important part of any financial plan, as it gives you a buffer to fall back on in case of an emergency.
Pay off any credit card debt monthly.
Credit card debt can be a significant burden on your finances, so it’s important to pay it off. Your credit cards should not be your emergency fund. If you are unable to pay them off monthly, re-evaluate your spending plan.
Review your financial plan and goals.
Or at least schedule an appointment with your financial planner. Reviewing your financial plan and goals regularly will help you stay on track and make any necessary adjustments.
Stop Doing These
Just as there are certain things you should be doing to manage your finances, there are also certain things you should avoid to keep your finances on track.
Panicking or worrying about the market.
While it’s important to stay informed about market conditions, it’s also important to remember that you can’t control the market. Downturns are a normal part of investing, and panicking or worrying about them can lead to poor investment decisions.
Watching too much news.
The news can be a great source of information, but it can also be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. Limit your consumption of news and focus on the information that’s most relevant to your investments and financial goals.
Looking over the fence.
It’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel like you’re falling behind, but remember that everyone’s financial situation is different. Stay focused on your own needs and your own plan.
Investing and building wealth requires taking risks, and there’s always the possibility of failure. But it’s important to remember that failure is a part of the process and that you can learn from your mistakes.
Perpetuating bad habits.
Financial success also means taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. If you find yourself overspending, overdrinking, or overindulging in social media, take steps to reduce those habits and focus on your overall well-being.
Where To Start
When it comes to managing your finances, it can feel like an overwhelming task. But remember, you don’t have to move the mountain in one day. Start by identifying one topic you need to tackle and take the next baby step towards getting it done. A baby step could be finding a file on your computer or sending a two-sentence email to get help. By taking small, manageable steps, you’ll be able to move the mountain, one shovelful at a time.
Managing your finances is an ongoing process that requires regular attention and adjustments. By taking steps to get your finances in order, remembering the basics, avoiding common mistakes, and focusing on your goals, you’ll be well on your way to achieving financial success.
If you want to talk about your next best steps, please reach out.
Lanning Financial Inc. is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.