Your mannerisms and daily habits are both direct reflections of your personality, wouldn’t you say? As a financial planner I can say the same thing is true for your money.
Think about the last time you set a financial goal, planned a budget, paid off debt or invested your money, was your strategy directly related to how you live your life? The odds are your answer is yes. Why? Because we are who we are in every aspect of our lives from our wardrobe to our money.
If you’re a planner in “real life” your money is probably managed the same way with savings goals and a monthly budget. If you’re very organized in your daily activities the odds are your money is also organized with different checking and savings accounts for each of your financial goals; and if you’re more of a “go with the flow” type of person then maybe your financial life could use a little planning.
No matter which money personality you best relate to there are always ways to improve your financial life this New Year.
Always the planner
If you map out your whole year in January and changes – even slight changes – in your daily routine throw you completely off course then maybe you’re a planner. If you like to set a portion of your income aside for specific goals, monthly expenses and savings then you most likely don’t need help planning your budget – but you may need help tracking it.
Using a budget planning tool such as Mint will help you see where your money is going every day and you will be able to see if you’re on track towards achieving your goals. Tools like mint will also help you stay on top of your bills and other financial obligations.
Are you an organizer?
If you like having separate accounts each with a different purpose because you don’t like your goals to overlap then maybe you’re an organizer. If everything in your home is perfectly placed then maybe your money is too.
Several accounts for different goals means you have a variety of money needs and probably need to find the best rate possible. Websites such as Go Banking Rates compare current checking, savings and cash deposit interest rates from a variety of companies. This saves you time and money by finding the best rate on the market in one place instead of having to shop around – it’s one stop shopping.
Maybe you just go with the flow
If you’re a free spirit your money life may be a little chaotic, organized chaos but nevertheless there still may be need for improvement. Do you spend money when and how you want to until it’s all gone? If so you may be a free money spirit – and that’s O.K. It works for some people, but if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck this year there are small changes you can make towards having a more organized financial life.
Seek the advice of a financial coach. Visit your local bank branch and make an appointment to talk with someone about learning to set a budget. That’s really the first step in getting organized. Set goals, plan your budget and make changes to your habits. Maybe you want to take a vacation but could never settle down to save the money, maybe you want to pay off your debt but never cut your spending or maybe you want to save for retirement but never opened an account. This is your chance, now’s your time to make small changes towards a new financial life.