I know what you’re thinking; What is a finance toolkit? How do I make sure I have what I need? Before you dive into the deep end, just think about it. A toolkit is full of various gadgets that you can use to fix, fix, or fix things – and tools can be added or removed as needed. Because this toolkit is portable, it can be taken anywhere and is durable enough to withstand various environments. A finance toolkit serves as a resource to keep your finances up-to-date and provide vital information that you can use to proactively resolve problems before they arise. If you need to create, revise, or dismantle your financial toolkit, read on to search for must-haves in your arsenal.
Take the time to review your budget
Most people either live on their budget, don’t even bother to look at it, or update it so often where it is no longer useful. No matter where you fall, understand that creating a budget will help you determine what is working (or not) over time. I know we can pride ourselves on doing things on our minds or at a fast pace – but it’s best to take some time reviewing the numbers in your budget to see if they make sense . Life events can cause your budget to fluctuate along with your specific financial goals. Take the first time to review, make any necessary updates, and feel confident in your first few works. Don’t be afraid to start from scratch! Using different budget methods or creating your own mix can work in your favor. After figuring out what is right for you and your lifestyle, check your budget weekly to make sure everything is on target. Keeping your finances up to date will keep things on track rather than making last minute reactive changes.
Determine your short and long term financial goals
Where do you want your finances to be in your life for the next two or ten years? Do your best to identify no more than three short and long term goals. respectively. Believe it or not, how you spend / invest / allocate your funds today creates a roadmap for the future of your finances. If you now establish healthy habits and determine your areas of financial growth, your financial goals will be achieved. If you’re struggling to narrow down your goals, take a look at these questions to think about:
- How important is financial freedom to you?
- What luxury would you like to incorporate into your life?
- Is entrepreneurship in any form a goal of yours?
Remember, when a goal is met, you have the flexibility to add something new to your list. Grant yourself grace – any goal you focus on always takes time, commitment, and patience.
Look for ways to diversify your financial portfolio
In connection with your long-term investments, inquire about various ways to diversify your existing portfolio. A solid mix of stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc. is a great way to fuel growth while covering all of your investment bases. If you are unsure how to move forward, consider the expertise of a financial advisor to assist you. Feel free to arrange consultations with different companies to get a feel for who suits you best and where you would like to be in the future. If you take pride in doing your own research, pick a new topic each week and explore! There are so many free resources out there that can help you out before you turn to a professional. When you’re ready to dive into real estate, take some time to study the basics. If the jargon in the stock market sounds oddly interesting, start looking for the best way to dive in. Most employers offer a retirement plan. If this applies to you, does your portfolio mix suit your current needs? Are there any things that you would like to change based on your findings? Leave no stone unturned – make sure you are completely familiar with the methods that will help your money grow!
Review or set up estate planning
While neither of us would like to speak openly about death, it’s important to make sure there is a plan for your money when you are gone. Regardless of your marital status or if you have children, it is always best to have all of your affairs in order. Have you set up beneficiaries? Do you have a will Do you have life insurance? Take the time to ensure that all of this information is current and correct.
Find all the important documents
We live in a digital world and many of us have important documents stored on computers or external hard drives. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, what if the computer files get corrupted or the laptop stops working properly? Make sure you have important documents in several places. A fireproof locker or a secure locker at a bank for all relevant documents is ideal. Make sure there are some trusted people in your family who know exactly how to get access in an emergency.
Stay diligent and stay engaged
We’ve been through this roller coaster before. Things start amazingly and suddenly – life happens. Your spending habits are slowly creeping back in. You make more visits to the savings account. The credit card balance was very low and manageable at first, then it’s back to where you started. No matter what missteps happen, try your best to avoid the dangerous cycle of financial negligence. When challenges arise, take a moment to think about where you are and what work you are doing to create a better financial future. Stay committed to the process! Financial resilience is nothing more than being able to overcome whatever gets in your way. We can’t always control what happens in life, but we can make sure things are in place to bypass the financial roads we have worked so hard to escape from.
Marsha Barnes (13 posts)
Marsha Barnes is a financial guru with over 20 years of experience striving to empower women worldwide to be financially successful. Financial literacy and literacy are a passion of Marsha and provide clients with practical information that builds their general confidence in their personal finances.