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5 Tips To Improve Your Finances Today

Updated: Jan 4

In honor of Financial Planning Month, here are five financial education tips that can help you improve your finances today.

1️⃣ Understand your cash flow. Understanding how your money currently flows in and out of accounts each month is the initial step towards financial empowerment. Note that I didn't say change your cash flow. A lot of people are scared of the B-word (Budget) but, in actuality, proper budgeting for most folks simply entails knowing your normal cash flow and working with it as it is, not necessarily changing it. Sometimes it does mean a behavior and spending change, and that's okay too. There's no shame in that either.

2️⃣ Protect yourself. First savings step: determine whether you have built a sufficient emergency fund to keep you dry on a rainy day. This safety net should be a priority. A decent starting place is working towards $1,000. A fully funded emergency fund is generally (but not always) 3-6 months of expenses kept in a High Yield Savings Account (HYSA).

3️⃣ Evaluate your savings and investment accounts (including employer sponsored retirement as well as personal brokerage accounts). Check whether you have funds in the right accounts for your short-term needs and goals, as well as savings going to the right accounts for your long-term goals. Also, know what your asset allocation should be for your goals and time horizon, and ensure that your current portfolio matches that.

4️⃣ Challenge your beliefs about money. Do you experience a lot of anxiety around money, or have a scarcity mindset? Do you stress about saving for X while simultaneously spending $$$ on Y? How would you describe your spending habits for yourself, and for others? Doing some work to improve your money mindset can do wonders for your quality of life today as well as your financial trajectory.

5️⃣ Recognize that taking action today is better than sitting still waiting for the perfect answer. There are many ways to improve your financial situation, and they all start with taking that first step to consciously improve your financial health, no matter how small the step may seem. You've got this, and there's no better time than today.

Need help? Seek guidance from a fee-only financial planner such as Shannon Fleener, CFP® at Sage Financial Planning for personalized advice for your specific situation. We're here for you 🤝

📌 Sage Financial Planning LLC helps young and mid-career professionals know and do better with their finances and work towards financial freedom. For more information on our holistic financial planning offerings, please visit our Services page.

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