Financial Planning Tips for When You're Just Starting to Invest

When you’re starting to invest, it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of information, industry jargon, and things you can’t control. People talk about the market as a shorthand. If you aren’t in this world day in and day out, you may be missing some things that could help you in the long run. There’s no need to panic or worry, though, because with a little knowledge to get your investment life off on the right foot, it isn’t so scary. 

First of all, let’s give you a round of applause! To some people, investing is such a big concept that they can’t wrap their brain around. They kick the can down the road and avoid the subject. But that isn’t you! You are capable, you can learn, and you’re ready to go for it. Here are a few tips for when you’re just starting to invest that will help you sort through some questions and give you a foundation of knowledge.

 

Prioritize Your Goals

Prioritizing goals is a big one...

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5 Financial Myths to Stop Believing (and the Truths Instead!)

People like to make a lot of proclamations about what to “always” or “never” do with your money. However, these are quite often total financial myths. And, when it’s coming from a source you trust, you tend to take these financial myths at face value rather than exploring the truth of the situation for yourself.

These five financial myths can negatively impact your mental wellbeing as well as that of your budget and financial security. So let’s play MythBusters and talk through some of the things we always hear about finances and the reality of the matter instead.

 

Financial Myth #1: You don’t need an emergency savings fund if you have a credit card.

The Reality: This is a very costly (and not always assured) way to cover emergencies.

This is one of the financial myths that always gets me going! There are so many things that could get you into trouble around credit cards and the way people use them is one of them.

The reality is that...

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Start with Your Mindset: How to Get Your Finances in Order

Starting or maintaining a budgeting system can be a daunting task. Trying different methods until you find one that works is not uncommon. But, having the right attitude toward money, savings, and budgeting plays a crucial role. In this post, we explore five essential mindset shifts - strategies to get your finances in order.

Strategy #1: Embrace Money Transparency

Neglecting your financial situation can be incredibly stressful, particularly when unexpected expenses arise. That's why it's crucial to establish a budget that encourages you to address your finances proactively before a crisis strikes, enabling you to have a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of your financial standing.

By embracing the habit of checking your bank account on a daily basis, you can easily track your progress, make adjustments when necessary, and ultimately feel more empowered and in control of your financial well-being.

Strategy #2: Understand that Budgeting is a Process

When it comes to...

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Using a Spending Plan to Manage Your Money

Budgeting and spending is always evolving, so having a plan in place to manage your money is a very powerful tool. A spending plan allows you to pivot quickly and make changes on a dime should things suddenly go awry (or, on the flip side, you find yourself with a windfall of good fortune).

Having a plan that gives you a quick overview of what’s coming in and how much you can allocate to spend in which categories will make money management stress-free. As a bonus, when you look at it more often, you can start to spend less time “dealing with” your finances and feeling guilty for treating yourself to a fancy coffee because it’s been a hell of a week and you want to feel good for a moment.

The reality is that when you stop avoiding your finances, you no longer have to fear them and blow it up into a more challenging situation than it really is. A spending plan is simply an evolving relationship with your money and a guide to direct your spending. It will be...

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Understanding Your Credit Score

It’s no secret that many Americans have very little knowledge of their credit score or general knowledge about keeping credit scores healthy. For example, VantageScore reported in their 2019 annual survey about consumer understanding of credit scores the following:

  • 78% of respondents in 2012, but only 62% in 2019, correctly indicated that people have more than one credit score. [That is down 16% from 2012]
  • 85% in 2012, but only 66% in 2019, correctly answered that keeping a low credit card balance helps raise a low credit score or maintain a high one. [That’s down 19% from 2012.]

The study found that the people who responded thought they had excellent or good knowledge. In fact, more people in 2019 said that they were confident in their knowledge than they were in 2018. But, as you can see, people actually know less about their credit scores. They just think they have a very firm grasp on the subject.

Understanding these numbers and the impact they will make in your...

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How to Teach Kids to Save

How do you teach your kids to save instead of spending their money as they get it? And how do you discourage your family members from spending everything they earn? I hear that a lot from parents and they’re great questions.

Teaching kids how to save up for big purchases while they’re young will prepare them for larger financial decisions they’ll have to make down the road. It teaches them to set goals and work to earn their money.

It’ll also help them to make saving and only purchasing when they have enough money to do so a habit. After all, it’s much better to do that instead of hopping on the Instant Gratitude Express at the Debt Station!

Here are a few ways you can teach your kids to save money instead of spending everything they earn.

 

Teaching Your Kids to Save

It’s never too early to talk to your kids about money and saving for bigger things rather than spending money as they get it. Yes, these items will grow as your kids do, but the...

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Frugal Tips for Refreshing Your Home Décor on a Budget

Your home is where you can relax and be comfortable. And if your home isn’t decorated to reflect yourself and your tastes, it can be hard to fully feel at home. Home decor is a great way to add your personality into your home, but it can be expensive.

My ultimate goal is to make my home the place we all want to be (especially since we’re spending so much time there now)! And I’ve learned a few frugal tips for refreshing home decor on a budget.

These tips are more than “paint and buy new curtains” - they’ll help you identify how you want to update your home, what will make the most impact, and clever ways to shop for it so you can refresh your home decor on a budget and still have it look good and like you.

 

Determine Your Goals and Budget

It can be so easy to get caught up in comparison, especially when you see a perfectly decorated home on Pinterest or HGTV. It’s important to remember that you have unique tastes and your family's...

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4 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

Summer 2020 will go down in the books as one of the oddest times since my kids can’t do the summer activities they usually do. I’m getting refunds for my kids’ camp programs that I signed them up for. It breaks my heart because these things they enjoy and that enrich their lives have been canceled. And, selfishly, I want to stop making all these meals every day!

Instead of wallowing in my 11,000th grilled cheese, I’ve decided to invest that camp money back into my family’s summer activities. Since we’ve already budgeted that money for the kids, I’m going to spend it on them. They can still have a fun summer, even if it’s at home.

Although my husband and I did budget for this expense, we don’t want to go over that set amount. There’s a good chance it could happen as we have a long summer to fill! As I’m considering how to keep the kids busy and happy at home, I came up with four financially-friendly ideas to entertain...

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10 Ways to Spring Clean your Finances

No matter where you are in your financial journey, whether you’re just putting together a financial planning binder or you’ve got a high-performing investment portfolio, everyone could benefit from spring cleaning their finances. Doing so will ensure your goals are still ones you want to work toward, you get back in touch with your numbers, and you can make adjustments sooner rather than later.

Here are my favorite posts that will help you dust the cobwebs out of your finances and refresh your bank account. They’ll help you empower yourself to learn about your finances and choose wisely to make your family financially sustainable!

Spring Clean your Money Mindset

The best place to start is by taking a look at your money mindset. I know firsthand that it takes practice to change beliefs, especially after you’ve placed them on cruise control for a while. Checking back in with how you think about money is important to make sure you’re thinking about wealth...

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Games About Money: Teach Your Kids with Board Games

Teaching kids about anything (and especially money) is always easier when you  make it fun for them to understand, so that’s why I love games! Using games to talk to your kids about money can be rewarding because you have an example right in front of you to base your conversation on.

I don’t know about your kids, but hands-on experiences are always preferred to hypothetical discussions in my house! (And, let’s be honest, they don't want to hear a lecture about money and quite frankly, I'm guessing you don't want to give it.)

Talking to your kids about money can be a confusing conversation to have, especially if you don’t even want to have that conversation in the first place. So, why not incorporate it in your family nights so it's not a drag?!

On Sundays, we usually have dinner at my mom's, which is often followed by an evening of board games and other family fun. Here are some of our favorites that teach some great lessons on financial literacy.

Games...

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