Five Training Tips to Get Financially Fit
Ashley Rosser, Mullica Hill’s expert Financial Advisor offers Five Training Tips to get Financially Fit!
I love fitness. I love running and have raced multiple half marathons. I have competed in many triathlons, including one half iron distance that took me over 7 hours to complete and I am currently in training to complete my second one. I absolutely love setting crazy goals, following a well laid plan, and then achieving what I once thought was impossible.
Many comparisons can be made for how individuals can achieve “financial fitness”. America, as a whole is completely out of shape financially. Consider that 78% of Americans are considered to live paycheck to paycheck.Three quarters of workers would say they are in considerable debt. Most frightening, only 12% of Americans aged 55-64 have saved enough for retirement.
Five Training Tips to get Financially Fit!
1. Set goals.
You can’t know how to get somewhere if you don’t even know where you want to go. It is ok to have different short term and long term goals. Maybe your immediate goals are to get a savings account built up, or to reduce your current high interest debt. But maybe long-term you want to make sure your retirement accounts are funded appropriately or you could want to save for a second home. Whatever your goals are, write them down and be specific.
2. Start budgeting.
No one ever wants to actually do a budget, but it is impossible to make the best use of your money if you don’t even know what you are spending each month. Be honest and realistic. If you are spending $500 a month on groceries, then don’t budget for $200. Look at your spending trends and see if any adjustments can be made. No matter how tight your budget is, there is probably at least 2% of your income that is spent that you cannot account for. Think about how that 2% could be better used.
3. Save by paying yourself first.
I just mentioned that you probably can’t account for at least two percent of your income that is spent. Make sure you are paying yourself first, just like a bill each month. $25 dollars a week means you can have $1200 saved in an emergency account in just one year. Start somewhere, and try to increase what you save each month. Chances are if you don’t see it, you won’t even miss it. While we are on the topic, make sure you are deferring into your 401k account. The sooner you start, the more advantageous it will be for you in the future. If there is a company match, make sure you max out your deferral percentage right away to get the full match. If you don’t, you are literally leaving free money on the table.
4. Reduce that debt!
Take inventory of what your debt and interest rates currently are. Try to pay off your highest interest rate balances first. Consider consolidation or transferring to a low interest rate if possible. If you do a balance transfer, make eliminating the debt a high priority. Most importantly, limit your future use of credit. It is incredibly freeing to climb out of the debt but easy to get sucked back down if you are not extremely careful with how you spend.
5. Hire a “coach”.
I hired a coach for my first half ironman because I was overwhelmed and was not sure how to achieve success. A financial advisor can help you get on the right path for financial fitness. Before you hire an advisor, ask them how they will be paid. Are they paid on commissions or a predetermined asset based fee? Do they act as a fiduciary in your best interests? Make sure you understand what value you will receive for the fees you will pay. Consider using low cost, well diversified investment strategies for long term investments.
If you are interested in getting more information on how to achieve financial fitness, feel free to make an appointment at our office. I would the truly love the opportunity to help you get into the best financial shape of your life.
Ashley Rosser, President
Prior to her career in the financial services industry, Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cedarville University.
Ashley decided to make a career change from her ten years within the healthcare industry as a pediatric emergency room nurse to retirement and 401K investment planning. She joined Victory Wealth Partners in 2008 after obtaining her Series 65 professional financial license and went on to earn her AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) professional designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.