How you spend and save your money is entirely up to you. Decisions big and small are attached to managing your money. From that morning latte at the coffee shop to planning your retirement, it’s all about the spending.
You may be divorced or widowed, or you’re single for your own reasons. In every case, gaining control of your finances means gaining control of your future. Take these five steps to achieve financial independence and a secure future.
Step 1: Start with spending
Understand what you’re spending money on and why. Decisions around money can be very emotional.
Spend within your means to gain clarity. Get a handle on the choices you make so that you can live comfortably, put away money to invest, and have enough on hand for unforeseen expenses and emergencies. Consider what assets you have and how long your money will last.
Create buckets for your money. What do you need for day-to-day expenses? How much are you going to need to set aside for taxes? Other buckets can include emergency funds, big purchases, and retirement.
Step 2: Address debt
Good debt improves your life. A student loan allows you to get a degree and a better-paying job. A mortgage gives you the ability to own a property that will increase in value.
Bad debt is when you overextend yourself to purchase items that lose value over time or disappear entirely.
Aim to pay off your credit card bill in full every month. When you make a major purchase, have a plan to pay it off over time.
Step 3: Plan for retirement
Think about how many more working years you have left. At what age do you want to retire? If you’re a single woman in your thirties or forties, and you’re not going through the life changes brought about by divorce or loss, it’s the perfect time to start planning. This is all up to you. What are you going to do in your remaining working years to build wealth? Think about your career trajectory and salary growth potential. Can you supplement that with passive income? Start now to create the ideal future for yourself. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
Step 4: Get educated
Finances are complex. You don’t have to do it on your own. Your circumstances are unique.
Find a trustworthy advisor. You need a sounding board. It’s essential to have someone on your side who can generate ideas, make a plan, and execute.
Take a team approach. Start with a CFP® professional. Consult an attorney for contracts and estate planning. An insurance expert will help set up the proper policies. An accountant knows how to reduce your tax burden.
Step 5: Get support
It’s important to have support, whether it’s formal or informal. Friends, coworkers, family members, and networking groups can be incredibly helpful on your financial journey.
Professional groups related to your field often sponsor financial forums for members, so keep an eye out for webinars and gatherings. Your job may offer resources to help with financial planning and investment basics.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to do this alone. There’s a world of assistance available.
Today is the perfect time to begin. All you need to do is take that first step. For more information on how Team Hewins can enhance your future, contact us today.
Team Hewins, LLC (“Team Hewins”) is an SEC registered investment adviser; however, such registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training, and no inference to the contrary should be made. We provide this information with the understanding that we are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or tax services. We recommend that all investors seek out the services of competent professionals in any of the aforementioned areas.