Portland News

June 17, 2024

Taking Control of Your Finances Has Never Been Easier

Taking Control of Your Finances Has Never Been Easier
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By: John Glover (MBA)

Checking your bank account can sometimes be a nightmare. 

I know I’ve been there before. My heart starts racing and my palms are sweating. Asking myself if all those past purchases were really worth the number I am seeing on my screen. 

Many people, especially Gen Z who are now entering the workforce, do not always have a firm grip on budgeting. 67% of adults say they have had to either cut back on spending, while half say they put big life plans on hold, so they can account for their goals. It does not always have to be like this, because there are ways to treat yourself while keeping a tight ship over your finances. 

Recognizing your goals, asking for help and then putting what you learn into practice are healthy ways to become a Finance 101 expert. Saving does not always have to be painful, there are ways to have a balance. 

Visualize your Goals

One of the first ways to take control of your finances is to make sure you know what you need to save for. Not having a clear view of your goals can make saving seem daunting. For example, you might feel like you don’t need to save right now because retirement is decades away. This can get you started on the wrong foot and put you behind financially. On the other hand, you might feel overwhelmed by how much you think you need to save, putting unwarranted stress on your shoulders. Being honest with yourself about your goals is the key to budgeting.

“True ‘Finance 101’ begins with a clear understanding of your current financial situation and the habits that are behind it. It’s about recognizing where your money is going each month & understanding how you are taking advantage of the financial opportunities available to you,” shares Michael A Scarpati, CEO of RetireUS.

Visualizing your goals does not always have to be a chore either. You can do this simply by writing down your dreams for your future and coming up with a tangible gameplan. Seeing things written down on paper, gives you an organized view of how you can be a Finance 101 expert. 

Ask for Help

Defining your financial goals is the first step to becoming an expert over your finances, but what happens next? 

Asking for help can sometimes feel like the last thing you want to do, but many times it will lead you in the right direction. 

Whether that’s asking a family member for input, or getting help from a financial advisor, it’s always a good idea to get a second set of eyes and ears on your future. 

Having a financial advisor is a great way to make sure your goals can be put into action. They can help you nail down those financial plans and also guide you as you save. There are different kinds of advisors to look into, you just have to find the one that fits your needs. Financial advisors are your coaches on the field, making sure you can kick the winning goal towards retirement. All you have to do is ask for help. 

Practice what you Preach 

Moving forward is the ultimate key to becoming an expert over your finances. Defining your goals and asking for help is great, but it’s how you put what you learned into practice that will make the difference. Putting in time to get rid of bad spending habits or being mindful of your savings can be difficult, but it’s necessary. 

“From there, the goal is to consciously cultivate habits that prioritize not just saving, but saving in the right places. Habits pave the way for financial security or financial scarcity. If we do not deeply understand our financial behaviors, we cannot fully harness our financial potential,” says Scarpati.

To have good spending habits means you have to get rid of the bad ones, and that is a learning process. There might be a little trial and error when it comes to managing your finances, but that’s all a part of the game. You have to get back out there even when it’s rough. 

Being an expert over your finances is not easy. Practicing what you preach everyday will be a challenge, but it will help lead you down the right path. You have to really want it in order to be successful. How will you take control of your finances?

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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