Dealing with financial planning issues is a challenge even for folks who are skilled in math. The trick is to develop a consistent approach that will guide you through both good and bad times. If you don't already have a list of financial planning methods that you use, consider these four tips.
Build a Budget
Simply put, your finances are just a bag of snakes until you lay everything out straight. From your Netflix bill to your mortgage payment, you should account for every dollar you spend in a month. It's also important to factor in tiny bits of spending, such as the $5 you might drop each day on a latte. Even if you don't alter a single item that you spend on, the information you gain by making a budget will guide your future decisions.
Figure Out What You're Worth and Get Paid That Much
The tightest budget in the world isn't going to save you if you lack for income. People are often reluctant to insist upon raises, especially if the economy isn't in great shape at the time. Assess the skills you have and try to attach a price to them. Take a look at what value your employer is extracting from your labors, too. Compare these two numbers and try to bring them closer together.
That means either asking for a raise or looking for someone else who'll pay you more. It may feel painful at first, but you'll boost your confidence and improve your bottom line.
Get Professional Help
Keeping tabs on the financial world, especially on a macro scale, is difficult. Find a professional financial planner and ask them for assistance in getting your house in order.
When you find a planner, it's worth considering whether you'll want to pay them a commission or go for a flat fee. The advantage of fee-based financial planning is that it keeps incentives straight. A commission can be useful for folks who want to pursue aggressive strategies, but many clients are better off just getting advice at a flat rate.
Keep Costs Down
Few things will chew up your budget like the cost of financing. Keeping finance costs down begins with being able to make a sizeable down payment. For example, banks want to see mortgage borrowers with some skin in the game. Negotiate with your bank to get a lower rate in exchange for something like a 20% down payment.
For more tips, reach out to a fee-based financial planning service.