Investing and Budgeting
Investing for retirement may be the first thing that comes to mind when planning for your future, but it isn't the only thing to consider when designing a comprehensive financial strategy. Equally important are establishing a budget, investing early and regularly, saving for college, and starting an estate plan. When developing a financial strategy, consider all the pieces to the puzzle, so that you're prepared to meet all the expenses in your financial notebook.
Establishing solid goals is the first step in designing a successful financial strategy that will stand the test of time. By classifying goals into categories of both long- and short-term, you'll get a sense of what you need to be saving and how to save or invest it.
The Art of Budgeting
A great first step toward a sound financial strategy is to establish a budget as a planning tool for recording all income and expenses. By writing down how much money is earned and spent each month, it's easy to see where the money goes and makes prioritizing easier.
And, any money left over can be used for saving and investing. Even a small amount of money invested regularly can help.
The best reason to start a regular investment program early is to give the money you invest as much time as possible to grow through compounding interest.
If you haven't started investing yet, start now and get in the habit. Just remember that the amounts invested do not have to be large, especially if the money is taken directly out of each paycheck. You will be surprised how you don't miss money you don't see.
If you're already investing every month, look for ways to contribute more through bonuses and monetary gifts.
Estate planning is a strategic approach to coordinating the distribution of everything you own before and after you die. It is an ongoing process that involves the creation, conservation, and distribution of property. The plan could be as simple as having a will, or could require the use of life insurance, trusts, business continuation plans, or charitable arrangements.
You may think you don't have enough money to worry about an estate plan, but such a plan plays a critical role in everyone's financial future.
Mutual Funds Risk Disclosures
Investing involves risk, including potential for loss.
Automatic investment plans and dollar-cost averaging do not assure a profit or protect against loss.
Not FDIC Insured
- No Bank Guarantee
- May Lose Value