Expertise Beyond the Numbers

Top 5 Tips for Achieving Financial Fitness

Following is an excerpt from the most recent Baltimore Gay Life Personal Finance column by Amanda Wooddell Wilhelm, a Manager at SC&H Group.

With beach season just around the corner, many of us are starting to focus on developing a springtime fitness regime that will get is us maximum shape. Although focusing on diet and exercise this time of year is a great thing, it’s also the right time to develop a financial fitness program.

Monthly financial planning is vital, and should not be overlooked. In fact, a study from National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that two out of five Americans don’t even have a monthly budget. This can be costly to you in the long run, and can impact everything from college savings to retirement planning.

Here are the top 5 monthly financial planning tips that will get you into top shape:

  1. Define Your Spending Priorities: Decide what is important (i.e., mortgage and other living expenses), then cut the least critical items from your budget.
  1. Track Your Expenses: Start by looking at your checkbook or online bank statements and see where excess spending is occurring. You may be surprised at how much money you are spending on non-essential items.
  1. Buy Income and Expense Tracking Software: Install Quicken on your computer, or set up an account at com. These programs can tell you when bills are coming up and help analyze your overall spending behavior.
  1. Put Your Savings on Autopilot: If possible, automatically divert a portion of each paycheck into your savings account. In a short amount of time, you will see your savings increase with minimal effort.
  1. Find the Right Financial Advisor: The right financial advisor can help you correctly assess your monthly budget situation, and build out the best plan.

If you have any questions about this content, we welcome you to contact Amanda here.