If you're ready to make 2015 the year you do more with your money, you're in the right place. XY Planning Network believes in helping Gen Y and Gen X work toward a better financial situation, and our financial advisors can help you lay out a road map to success.
But if you're not quite ready for the professionals to step in, you can go ahead and get started on your own. Try taking these 4 steps to have a financially fantastic 2015:
Stop Ignoring Your Finances
The first step in creating an excellent financial year? You need to actually pay attention to your money -- and where it goes.
Too often, people ignore financial problems because they're stressful, scary, or overwhelming. But neglecting your money issues only compounds them and makes the situation worse.
If you have any financial skeletons in your closet (or more accurately, bank account), it's time to face them and figure out how to deal with them. It is tough to do, but it's the first step in getting to a place of financial stability and success.
Create Actionable Money Goals
When you figure out your trouble spots or identify any problems -- like credit card debt, student loans, excessive spending, underfunded savings or retirement accounts -- it's time to work towards solutions. Setting goals can help with that.
How? Goals keep you on track, focused, and allow you to keep up with your progress. Outlining your goals and how you can achieve them provides you with a step-by-step plan to get it done.
Just make sure your financial goals are actionable. You want to make goals that are positive and tangible, and avoid those that are hard to track, measure, or actually accomplish.
Understand How to Take Advantage of Time to Grow Wealth
If you haven't started investing yet, now is the time to do so. Don't put this off another year, because waiting means you miss out on time that your money could be compounding and growing.
Start with your employer-sponsored retirement account if one is available to you. Aim to contribute at least enough to meet the match if there is one. Ideally, contributing 10% to 20% of your gross income is a great bar to aim for if you're getting started. (Self-employed? You have options, too.)
Of course, you can always invest more for your future if you want and can do so.
Learn About How You Can Live Your Great Life
Speaking of investing, you can also make 2015 you invest in yourself. You can always do this by learning something or gaining a new experience.
But you can also do this by taking the time to ask yourself how you want to life your great life -- your ideal life. And then you can learn about how using your money wisely today can be a tool that helps you get there.
We're talking about financial independence. Understanding this concept -- and deciding to work toward it -- can really help you have a financially fantastic 2015.
Being financially independent means developing enough income to pay all expenses indefinitely, without needing to work full-time to bring in that money. It is possible, and you can get started right now to create those income streams. A few ways to do this:
- Side hustle
- Start a business
- Invest in real estate
These are just a few ideas, and you might want to explore these further if you've never considered financial independence before.
Keep Asking Questions and Get the Help You Need
Like much else in life, you're never really finished learning everything there is to know about personal finance. And that's okay, as long as you continue asking questions and seeking answers.
Check out different financial blogs, or listen to various financial podcasts if you prefer that to reading (more) text.
You can also seek out the help of an expert who knows the right money moves to make. Our advisors specialize in serving Gen Y and Gen X clients -- and our Find An Advisor portal allows you to search for a financial planner by their specific expertise.
You're no longer limited to location, as all our advisors work virtually. That means you get to choose the best financial pro for your specific, unique situation (instead of having to choose a planner just because they share a ZIP code with you).
Want to learn more? Stop by the Find An Advisor page and browse around. You can search for a financial advisor by how much they charge (and how they charge) and what kind of individual they love to help.