Managing your personal finance like a pro is important for paying bills, creating savings, gaining wealth, and savoring the long and comfortable retirement. Banks may provide professional handling of your finances; however, in this age of the Internet, you now have the freedom to choose from various types of resources in seeking to increase financial knowledge without shelling out funds.
Here are 10 highly reliable personal finance websites offering resources and information to help you attain your goals, from spending and investing funds:
1. BankingSense.com – Banking Sense has a unique way of presenting valuable financial news, tips, and advice without using highly technical jargon or phrasing that’s difficult to understand. Covering topics such as credit cards, insurance, small-business finance, personal finance, taxes, and more.
2. CashMoneyLife.com - Featured on top media websites like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and more, Cash Money Life stands out as a reliable source of advice on personal finance and small business set up in a typical blog format without all the bells and whistles that make other sites so confusing, for clearer info.
3. MyMoney.gov – The only government-operated website on the list, MyMoney.gov offers its own unique spin on personal finance. It has information about earning, borrowing, saving, investing, spending, and protecting your money.
4. CreditCardForum.com – If you’re really into personal interaction and online communities, and for people who loves credit. It provides posters of tips and tricks for acquiring cards.
5: DoughRoller.com – This blog gives information, resources, and tips on how to make, donate, save, and spend money in fiscally smart ways. People who regularly read Dough Roller are intensely loyal because they appreciate the broad variety of content.
6. Wisebread.com – It is an extremely popular personal finance community that includes bloggers and experts in its membership. The most popular areas of the site are the “Personal Finance” and “Frugal Living” sections. It also offers a “Life Hacks” area that covers everything from technology tips to managing an organization.
7. TheMilitaryWallet.com – The site’s goal is to assist the military community in becoming fiscally smart and informed about the variety of benefits and programs available to it. Financial topics such as investing, insurance, and retirement are covered in detail, military discounts and post-military money management.
8. Kiplinger.com – Kiplinger gives you solid and accurate business forecasts. It’s seen as a trusted thought leader. One of the greatest benefits of Kiplinger is the variety of content available to the visitor.
9. Bankrate.com – Bankrate supplies plenty of information on bank rates, mortgages, and credit cards, but it’s also a source of personal finance advice in such areas as financial planning, retirement, and investments.
10. ModestMoney.com – Readers will appreciate this site for its honest and unassuming approach. Started by an average guy, this blog provides an unbiased and simplified look at financial product reviews, credit card deals, and other finance blogs.
Financial planning is an ongoing process. It’s important you take the time to create a financial plan that works for you, and make sure it meets your needs and financial goals. It involves these key steps to draw up a basic financial plan:
Evaluate your Financial Condition
First step when developing your financial plan is – assess your financial situation. With a clear understanding of your current financial situation, you can decide where you should start from, and what you need to achieve your financial goals. Knowing your net worth is important, make a list outlining all your assets, as well as your liabilities such as loans and outstanding debts.
Work on a Budget
Track all the INS and OUTS of your money to understand your financial habits and take control of your spending and savings. Prioritize needs and wants and look for any unnecessary expenses you can cut to save money.
Set your Financial Objectives
Comprehending your financial situation helps identify short and long-term financial goals. It’s important to know what you are planning for. Key thing is to set and prioritize realistic objectives, and need to map out cost for each goal and your timeframe to save or invest before you need the money to cover for that goal.
Know your Risk Endurance
Risk is the potential threat that may impact the expected outcome of your investments. An important part of your financial planning is to understand your tolerance for risks. You may wish to consider:
> Financial goals and timeframes – Allocating a timeframe to each investment goal will enable you to think about how much you can afford to invest and how long it will realistically take you to reach your goal.
> Your personal profile – This includes your stage of life, profession, source(s) of income, financial commitments, etc.
> How do you feel about putting your money at risk – If you are worried of the implications, you will not be able to handle high-risk money matters. Risk tolerance is classified into the following:
– Conservative: Not willing to take up risk and see loss in investment
– Moderate cautious: Willing to accept limited amount of risks to improve long-term investment returns
– Balanced: Weighing the risks and returns
– Moderately aggressive: Taking on greater investment risks, don’t mind accepting more risk or loss than the market bears.
- Aggressive: Ready to take on higher levels of risks in order to substantially outperform the markets.
Work Out and Implement Basic Financial Plan
– Prioritize your needs and goals.
– Identify action steps to reach your goals.
– Know the risks, understand your responsibilities and think before you invest.
– Maintain a diversified portfolio of investments.
Regularly Review your Plan
You should exercise strict discipline to follow the financial plan. Always review existing budget to make sure it works and review your financial plan regularly and adjust when resources, needs and situations change.
WHAT IS FINANCIAL PLANNING?
Financial planning is the process of setting, planning, achieving and reviewing your life goals through the proper management of your present and future finances.
A holistic financial plan involves investing money and building your wealth, credit and tax obligations, daily and future big spending involving home, education and family. These facets of financial plan are interconnected.
Financial planning is an important life skill to help you plan your future and take better control of financial goals by helping you to set realistic plans and take effective measures.
Prudent financial planning will help you to:
> Satisfy today’s financial needs - Can you balance your monthly expense? Do you often spend on credit cards? Create budget planner to plan and monitor savings and expenses.
> Meet future financial goals – What are your financial goals? Are these goals realistic under your financial position? Set savings goal calculator to help you plan ahead.
> Save for emergencies – Most don’t take a step back when everything is good and forget to realize if there’s enough financial cushions or contingency funds for living expenses to deal with any unexpected crisis.
> Protect you and your family in the event of something going wrong – Financial planning involves having the right insurance in place to protect you/dependents if something goes wrong with your health or with your property; and conducting estate arrangement.
> Plan for your retirement – Assess your retirement needs and estimated the future value of your retirement savings including investments/other retirement schemes plus your other savings and investments. Build your wealth through savings and long-term investments to meet your retirement needs. Starting point for your financial planning process – gain an accurate understanding of your current financial position, including your net worth.
Net worth is calculated as your assets minus your liabilities. Asset is what you own, including, savings, property, investments; liability is what you owe(mortgage, tax bills/outstanding debts).
Through sound money management and investments, you build savings which contribute towards your assets. In terms of the money you can spend/live upon, you may carve out from your net assets, estate you want to pass down to heirs or donate to charity.
COMPONENTS OF BASIC FINANCIAL PLAN
> Responsible borrowing: Responsible borrowing is an integral part of financial planning. Personal loans and credit e.g. mortgage loan and car loan can help you achieve your financial goals, but over-indebtedness can jeopardize your life plan.
> Managing day-to-day finances: Managing your money with an effective budget planner helps you identify where you can set aside funds to build your savings while tracking down your expenses.
> Future consumption: Future consumption includes life events such as education, family and home/car. These expenses may deplete your assets and can be long-term financial commitments.
> Insurance: Unexpected incidents/emergencies in life such as accidents, illness and death can deplete savings and erode assets. Risk management is a component of overall financial planning, financial protection against unforeseen circumstances and risks in life.
Have you ever wondered what the best things are that you can do for your financial future? Here is a list of the smartest things that anyone can do for their finances.
1.Create a Spending Plan & Budget – If you are spending more than what you earn, surefire that you are headed for financial trouble. Best way to make sure that your income is greater than your expenditures is to keep track of your expenses for a couple of months, then create your budget that is sustainable within your means.
2.Pay Off Debt and Stay Off Debt - Best thing you can do for your finances is to pay off all debts. Focus on your most expensive debt—the credit cards or loans that charge the highest interest. Once debts are all paid off, focus on paying your mortgage, consider splitting your monthly payment in half and paying bi-weekly. Then pay extra as you can afford it. This will shave years off your mortgage and save you thousands of dollars in interest.
3.Prepare for the Future – Set Savings Goals – Saving money for your future is crucial, make sure to work on it steadily.
> Start saving on a regular basis through tax free account (TFSA) or RRSP, or both.
> Plan for your retirement. Figure out how much money you will need for retirement, which may also be your “rainy day” fund in case of emergency.
>Make sure you have enough insurance, accidents happen, natural disasters occur, make sure you have enough o cover them.
> Write a will and who will benefit from your assets when you die, to ensure who will get the benefits of your hard work.
4.Start Saving Early, But Never Too Late To Start – Because of the magic of compounded interest, even when the rates are low, someone who starts to save for their retirement early doesn’t have to save as much as someone who starts saving later in life.
5.Do Your Research Before Making Major Financial Decisions – Many people don’t assess their priorities before buying an appliance than purchasing an investment or buying a home. Make sure that you’re not one of them. Buying a home and saving for retirement are two of the biggest financial decisions most people will ever make.
6.Don’t Be Hasty With Major Financial Decisions – There are no major financial decisions or major purchases that need to be made on the spot. It is better to wait and learn a cheap lesson, than hastily rush into something and learn an expensive lesson. Take the time to sleep on big decisions you have time to consider alternatives, and get some other opinions or information.
7.Stay Married!!! – Studies show that married people earn higher incomes, have twice the assets at retirement, and live on 25% less than what single people would need to live the same lifestyle. Statistically speaking, staying married is good for your finances.
These tips will ease money stress so you can create a more peaceful life
Do you ever feel stressed-out about money? I don’t have statistics on how many people have financial stress, but I know you’re not alone. In this article I’ll highlight some fundamental causes of money-stress and tips on how to deal with them effectively so you can create a more peaceful life.
How to Deal With Money Stress
There’s no shortage of reasons why people are dizzy with money stress. There are various reasons of financial problems that we can’t control but it affect our wallets nonetheless. It’s important to realize that stress is nothing more than our body’s response to a situation or event. When faced with an emergency – some people freak out and other people stay completely calm and in control. The situation is exactly the same for everyone, but the way each person perceives the situation is very different. Though you may never completely eliminate stress in life, managing it can help improve relationships, health, and general sense of well-being.
> Change your language – Keep positive attitude and use positive language will reduce stress response to financial issues. Never say that you only have limited resources, whereas you can explore other avenues to earn more.
> Reframe your thoughts – How you view your finances and the manner on how you speak about them can change the way you feel. Remember that actions are always preceded by thoughts and beliefs.
> Recognize your potentials – People tend to get more stressed when they believe a situation is out of control. When it comes to money, you always have the power to make a difference, so recognize that choices exist for you to improve any financial problem.
> Stay in the present. – Financial stress comes from projecting a worse-case scenario into the future. Exaggerating a situation to the point that your heart starts pounding and your palms start sweating. Remind yourself that you’re not in the future – you’re in the present moment where you have complete control.
> Get financial help – Talking to somebody or a financial professional can help you see options and solutions to your financial problems that you might be overlooking. Working with a financial planner is a smart way to get back on track so you feel more in control and optimistic about your situation.
> Reduce your debt – If debt is stressing you out, create a spending plan so you can free up more discretionary money and pay it off ASAP. Keep the total of all your monthly debt obligations below 40% of your gross monthly income.
> Choose to build wealth – Using your money to create a secure financial future, instead of spending it on material possessions, will give you a feeling of freedom. You can reduce stress by purchasing less stuff that you and make a commitment to save and invest at least 10% of your income.
Financial concerns and challenges happen to anyone at some point, this can get the better of anyone’s wit. However, knowing that there is always a way out can help ease the worry, and you may be able to find a way out yourself; or you may need someone else’s perspective to help you discover the solution.
Here are some ways to resolve financial problems and difficulties and ease your stress:
- Recognizing the Underlying Issue Causing the Difficulties – Being able to know the root cause of your financial trouble will help pinpoint on where to start resolving your financial woes. To come up with lasting solutions, identify the real source of your financial troubles.
- Creating a Budget – One of the best solutions for combating financial problems is budget. Living within your means/source of income. Planned monthly spending will let you see where your funds are going. Creating a budget is like turning the lights on to find your way around a dark room, it guides spending decisions so that you will dispense funds on what’s important, this way it will help solve your financial troubles.
- Determine Financial Priorities to Lead Your Spending Choices – To overcome financial problems and solve your difficulties, you need to determine priorities. Setting clear priorities for yourself makes it easier to make tough financial decisions. Turning priorities into actionable and achievable goals will help you solve money troubles and get back on track.
- Identify Actions in Addressing the Problems and Achieve Your Goals – The solution to financial problems is often to reduce expenses, increase income, or combination of both. This may not be something you opt to do, but big changes are always much harder than small changes so to accomplish your goals, identify small steps you can take to achieve them. It’s one powerful method of paying debts faster.
- Develop a Plan to Overcome Financial Concerns for Good – Once you’ve come up with things in tackling your financial problems and difficulties, put together a realistic plan to accomplish goals. It can be a short or long-term plan. You can do the planning by yourself, or ask for a professional adviser who can review your situation, help put together a realistic budget, come up with a plan to solve current challenges & get your finances back on track.
- Follow Up on How Things are Progressing – The last step takes place once you are already working on your plan. Often, take a few minutes to review how things are going. As plan progresses, you will see improvements, be open to the possibility of fine-tuning the plan in order to accomplish goals faster, as long as your budget can afford the changes, then you can infuse more aggressive approach.
Overcoming financial problems and difficulties isn’t easy, but by setting clear priorities, identifying ways to achieve these goals, and persevering, you can overcome the challenges and put an end to the financial stress.