Five Tips on Keeping Your Resolution to Improve Your Finances
Get your finances in check in 2011.
These tough economic times may be reason enough for you to reassess your finances but if not, a resolution may be what finally motivates you to make some positive change. Rosemarie A. Connolly CPA, CFP, MST, founder of Connolly Financial Advisors, LLC., shares her expertise on how to successfully improve your finances and lifestyle in 2011. She suggests the following actions and things to think about:
1. Set goals that are meaningful to you.
Write down the values and goals that drive you. This list will help you stay focused on the action required to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, so you achieve your goals for the reasons that are important to you. It will help you maintain the perspective that keeps your life in balance. This list is not easy to write – it takes real contemplation, reflection and vision. If you are married, you must work together on this list. It’s all about vision – knowing what you want is not enough. You have to see yourself there.
Discipline yourself to save before any other bills are paid or spontaneous purchases are made. As a great athlete will probably tell you - To be a champion you only have to do two things: work out when you feel like it, and work out when you don’t feel like it. To be successful financially you have to do the same – save every month whether you feel like it or not.
3. Emergency fund and beyond.
Quantify the exact amount that you deem necessary to have for an “emergency fund.” Then allocate assets to that “emergency fund” or earmark your monthly savings to fund that “emergency fund.” Don’t ask anyone for a “rule of thumb.” Just think to yourself, “What amount of money will make me feel safe and happy.” If you do that then you will have empowered yourself. You will no longer be paralyzed from creating a financial strategy. There are many appropriate investments that you should have in your portfolio – it’s necessary to have diverse investments that will grow and fund your goals.
4. Are you on track?
Track your investments against your goals on an annual basis. It’s also important to rebalance the assets so that they are true to your financial strategy. You don’t want to have too much in your emergency fund. You may need to sell high and buy low in order to move funds from stock or bond categories that have grown to stock or bond categories that haven’t. Staying on track with your goals also means - don’t react blindly to what you read and hear in the news. Stay the course because it’s what you determined was right for you.
5. Do the things that are important to you – those are all the things you cannot delegate.
There are 168 hours in a week. Are you spending them at your kids’ soccer games, taking vacations, quiet time at home, improving your professional skills, volunteering to worthy causes, reading great books, having dinner with friends, exercising, growing personally? These very important life hours should not be replaced with efforts to be an investment expert. Keep perspective on your life, your goals and what’s important to you and delegate the rest to trusted advisors who will help you achieve your financial goals without sacrificing your precious and finite time.
Connolly Financial Advisors, LLC. is a comprehensive investment advisory, financial planning and accounting services firm located at: 231 Sutton Street, Suite 2D-1. 978.686.8477, www.ConnollyAdvisors.com.