The successful management of financial resources can be equally challenging for businesses and individuals alike. But while businesses have accounting departments, we usually have just ourselves to rely on for the basics, before getting expert advice. These basics are important and include formulating and prioritizing your financial goals and organizing your accounts in a way that will help you accomplish them.
Most of us have an IRA, a 401(k), or more than one, a savings account, perhaps a taxable brokerage account and/or a variety of other savings or investment accounts. All these accounts need taking care of in order to fulfil their function, that is, provide you with a sufficient supply of funds at a given point in the future. Successful money management starts with setting specific goals that you need this money for. You could assign a goal for each account or you could group your accounts around a goal. You could also assign more than one goal per account and then manage these accounts based on the goal they go towards accomplishing. Here are five practical tips to follow after the goals have been set:
- Pay Bills Online — Online payments are quicker, easier and secure. Going paperless can save you time and money, and it is also easier to track your expenditure. Besides, most banks offer a round-the-clock electronic payment services, which is much more convenient than being constrained by work hours.
- Consolidate/Group IRAs together — Every type of account has certain advantages for specific investment or savings goals. Grouping them based on their type and, therefore, primary goal will make it much easier to manage these accounts.
- Track Your Progress with a Monthly Review — Take some time each month to review how your finances are doing and if you need to change something in the way you manage them. Investment opportunities change and so do returns, so keep an eye on your funds and review them regularly.
- Invest in Personal Finance Software — To organize all this information, which tends to be quite a lot, you might want to consider some software management tool. You can choose something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet for your basic accounting or you could try a specialized money management tool that will relieve you of much of the hassle around keeping your accounts and investments in check.
Whatever technical option you choose, the management of your finances should be primarily focused on the goal, not the account. Still, it could be a complex, exhausting undertaking, especially for those who have more funds to manage. This is where professional investment advice comes in.
Gateway Investments, LLC prides itself on offering its clients comprehensive investment advice, based on the specific goals they have set themselves. Aware that the top financial priorities for anyone are security and independence, Gateway’s advisors can tailor highly personalized investment options, taking into account the particular needs of every client and what their risk appetites are. Through face-to-face meetings, these advisors will draw on their professional experience and the company’s ample resources to provide you with the best investment roadmap that would help you accomplish your financial goals.
*Securities, insurance and advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Gateway Investments, LLC is not an affiliate of Royal Alliance Associates Inc. or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor.