5 Financial Planning Tips for The New Year

It’s a New Year and goal planning is on everyone’s mind. As a family, we have had a lot of changes happen this last year. Now that we are a family of 3 it’s time to reevaluate our financial goals and planning. 

Before becoming a full-time blogger and mommy, I spent 7 years in the Wealth Management industry and 6 years in banking. Financial education and planning has always been a priority for me and now as a family of three.  Now that Grayson is a part of our family we have new financial goals.

This post is sponsored by Personal Capital and I am so excited to share how we are using our digital wealth manager for our financial goals. I first joined Personal Capital in 2014. While working in the industry I saw the value of using the software.

  1. Calculate Your Net Worth

It is always a good idea to take time in the New Year and calculate what you’re worth financially. It is the first step in assessing your financial health and making sure you are reaching your financial goals. Having a clear picture of your assets and liabilities will help you evaluate your gifting, spending, investing and savings.

It is always a great idea to recalculate your net worth each year to keep on top of your progress toward your financial goals and making sure you are on track to achieving them. 

Personal Capital helps in calculating total net worth, assets and liabilities. Easy-to-use personal financial software that syncs up all your accounts into one dashboard. Personal Capital creates a summary of your spending, net worth and most importantly your investment portfolio. 

2. Set a Household Budget

Our goal as parents is to teach Grayson to live within his means, give, invest and save. Therefore, to lead by example we set ourselves a monthly budget.  

You can flip back and forth between viewing your income and expenses on the dashboard in the front and center when you first login to Personal Capital.

The transactions are automatically pulled in and categorized. Making it simple to track and monitor where most of your money is being spent. The tool also gives you control to organize your transactions, by categorizing them in general groups or in a customizable field. Also, if you pay a transaction from your personal account for business purposes you can create a label transaction so it won’t go against your household budget.

The one thing that has prevented us from budgeting in the past is simply not having enough time. Personal Capital solves that issue by making it simple and easy.

3. Education Planning

Our goal is to get a head start on Grayson’s educational costs. By doing this we opened both a Custodial and Education account to help plan for his future. The purpose for the custodial account is to educate Grayson on investing. Any money he receives as a gift or earns is deposited to this account. 

To help us plan for Grayson’s education fund we used the Education Planning tool with Personal Capital. 

Under the section “Planning” in the Retirement Planner, simply select the + to add a new Spending Goal, select ‘Education’.

 

The next screen, you simply add when you expect your child to go to college and how much you plan on paying annually toward their education.

This tool will help calculate how much to save monthly to make sure you are on target on reaching your annual goal for college.

4. Update Your Financial Goals

It is important to plan and set short and long term financial goals. A short-term financial goal can be an emergency fund, wedding, travel, vehicle, home remodel, etc. Also evaluate your long-term goals, retirement, education or paying off a mortgage.

As a family, we continue to use the Personal Capital goal setting tool for our short-term goals (anything we project in the next 5-10 years). This helps us to stay motivated and on target to reach them.

5. Personal Financial Education

This can be listening to a podcast or reading a book. There are a range of options out there; many podcasts introduce you to concepts and strategies necessary to improve your financial health and give you more knowledge of your financial accounts.

One of my personal favorite books is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley. It is this book that developed the concept of Save 10%, Invest 20% and Give 10%.

Would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or email: roxiedrofiak@gmail.com

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