Following along with the blogs of financial advisors is a great way to access valuable, educational information about finance — and it doesn’t cost you a thing! Our financial planners love to share their knowledge and help everyone regardless of age or assets.
Catch up on some of the latest posts with this week's roundup:
The Difference Between a Big Bank Advisor and a Fee-Only Financial Planner
by Aaron Hatch, Woven Capital
Your financial life is becoming more complex, and you’ve decided it’s finally time to get some help to reach your financial goals. But you aren’t sure where to go to get the best advice. It might seem reasonable to go with a big bank brand name.
If they’ve been around for a long time, they must know what they’re doing, right?
Tread carefully. Many people call themselves financial advisors — and there’s no formal regulation around the term — but not all of them have your best interests at heart. Let’s pull back the curtain to compare the practices at big bank brand names to the standards of a fee-only financial planner working as your fiduciary.
Doing More Chores Than Your Spouse? (You Must Be the Mathematician!)
by Michael G. Rivas, Bienvenue Wealth
For most couples, dividing up the chores is one of the first items of business when they start a life together. Taking out the trash, doing the laundry, cutting the grass, scrubbing the toilets. We all know the list. And paying the bills, which is on there too, is typically handed off to the partner who is either best at math or has traditionally been the most responsible with money. What most couples don’t realize is this: the mathematician in the house is getting a pretty raw deal.
Sure, the chore of “paying the bills” is pretty straightforward. In the beginning, finances are simple. The most important tasks are budgeting, paying every bill on time, and managing monthly cash flow. Not so bad. The chore is done in the time it takes to cut the grass.
But as time moves on, finances get more complex. Suddenly “paying the bills” includes finding the best rate on a home mortgage and figuring out how much to contribute to your 401(k) and 529 plans. Deciphering complex benefits packages and navigating corporate buyouts are added to the list of responsibilities. Juggling FSAs, HSAs, and insurance claims fall into this category too, as does trying to pick stocks, diversify investments, stay educated on the market, and think about tax liabilities. It can sure make scrubbing the toilets seem a lot more attractive than it did in the early days.
No matter how hard they try, most people don’t have the knowledge they need to make complex financial decisions. In worst-case scenarios, a serious error has been uncovered: taxes are misfiled, assets are lost, or there’s been hidden overspending by one spouse or the other. That’s when I become as much a mediator as a financial advisor. And I hate to see it, because today’s troubles could have been avoided years ago—back when the chores were being divided, and “paying the bills” and “cutting the grass” where somehow seen as equivalent. The fact is, the grass never gets more complex, but your family finances are a dynamic, moving puzzle that requires both time and expertise.
How to Save 44% on Your Grocery Budget without Ever Clipping a Coupon
by Ben Wacek, Wacek Financial Planning
How can you reduce your grocery bill by 44% without ever clipping a coupon? The one-word answer is: ALDI!
Aldi is a German based discount supermarket chain that opened its first store in the US in 1976 and currently has approximately 1,300 stores in the US. It’s owned by the same family as Trader Joe’s.
I’ve been shopping at Aldi since I graduated from college and to this day can’t help but smile every time I checkout. Although the savings are noticeable, I had never done the research to find out just how much I’ve been saving by shopping at Aldi. Therefore, I set out to compare the prices of 15 items I commonly purchase at Aldi against that of comparable products offered at my local SuperTarget. I’ve separated the store brands from the national brands in order to compare multiple data points.
Financial Lie #2 - "I Can't Make A Difference"
by Brandon Marcott, Edify Financial Planning
It seems everyone thinks they are middle class, and stuck there. Why bother trying to make good decisions when you’ll never make it to a higher economic level? On the other side, you have upper class families underestimating the value of making good financial decisions because so little even makes a dent in their world.
Why does your financial class even matter? Your perceived financial standing should have no bearing on being responsible with your money.
Whatever season of your financial life you find yourself in, you have a duty to be intentional and purposeful with your money. Here are 3 practical ways for you to combat the lie that your financial responsibility can't make a difference.