If you have a fabulous amount of income and very modest expenses, you probably never run into a jam where you need a resource and can’t get that resource because you don’t have money available. In that case, maybe you don’t NEED a budget. But otherwise, you would likely benefit from knowing more about where your money goes. In real-time and in real life.
Most folks don’t like the idea of budgeting. It sounds punitive and difficult. And most married couples find that at least one of you REALLY hates the idea of budgeting.
Try to approach the process with no judgment. No change required. Simply awareness.
Thich Nhan Hanh, the Zen Master said, “Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.”
And, if you think about tracking your spending you quickly see how you will notice where your actions end up relative to your financial priorities. If you don’t like what you see, then you can think about what you would rather do.
After a while, you will find that your actions become more closely aligned with your values, and you will find a vast source of peace.
Try it and see.
- Start simple. Just a 3 by 5 card in your pocket where you can write down everything you spend and what you felt like.
- Pull the auto-pay expenses from your checkbook or credit card and print them out. Just look at them.
- Include savings, investment, and charity. You may be surprised by how good you feel when you notice how well you are already doing.
You will likely be surprised. Most people are very surprised. You may find that you would like to talk with somebody who is your advocate for making progress toward your big-picture goals. Maybe a fiduciary financial planner. I would be honored to have that talk with you. Just follow this LINK to find a time that works for you.
As you visit with financial planners, I suggest you check a couple of things:
- Is the advisor always the client’s advocate – a fiduciary advisor?
- Is the advisor paid by clients, not financial product manufacturer or distribution network? That would be a fee-only advisor.
These two points help assure that you are working with a professional who is committed to your best interest at all times. It seems sort of obvious to me that a professional would work in this way, but it’s not automatic.
A fiduciary, fee-first, CFP® professional can help you make great retirement income choices and develop a comprehensive financial plan that is driven by your goals and priorities and addresses all aspects of your financial life. With a big-picture approach, you will be better prepared to understand your options at every step along the way.
Yes, I am a CFP® professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.
If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.