Forbes Health/OnePoll surveyed adults in the United States to determine the most popular resolutions for the New Year. Improved finances were listed as No. 5. While other aspects, including health, are also fundamental, 2024 should be the year that improving finances is a continuing process with reachable goals, not a resolution. Joe Caldera, a Certified Financial Planner™ with Caldera Wealth Management, can help with sound financial advice. With their guidance, this can be accomplished step-by-step with the plan listed below.
The first step is to save more and then spend last. Certainly, a mortgage or rent, along with bills, need to be paid promptly. Food, transportation and other expenses are part of the spending plan.
However, prioritizing savings as a “bill” or “expense” and adding 1 to 2 percent of your pay into your savings or retirement account each year will keep you on track toward reaching your goal.
Instead of saving what you have left at the end of the month, you save first with a payroll deduction into your 401(k). You will be able to meet your financial obligations and still save for emergencies and retirement.
The next step is to spend less, and one way is to pay yourself a fixed allowance each month in either cash or transfer money to a separate account with a debit card. This allowance can be used for fun, such as entertainment and dining out.
Living on a spending plan can incorporate new habits. This includes preparing meals at home, which includes many services that deliver ingredients with recipes. Explore discounts and promos and join online groups that share discounted products and services. Libraries feature an ongoing calendar of free activities, including entertainment, concerts, art exhibits, games and festivals. There are also many enjoyable opportunities with the park and recreation departments.
One fundamental goal is to avoid debt and become debt-free. One crucial fact that Caldera emphasizes is that it could take years if you only pay the minimum credit card payments. It could take years, if not decades, to finally pay off consumer debt at a great expense. Pay off the entire amount due monthly.
It is recommended to make extra mortgage payments if you are buying your residence. When taking out a loan for a purchase, most of the payment is allocated toward interest. Halfway through the loan, 50 percent of your payment is allocated toward the principal and interest.
Adding more toward the principal can shave years off future payments.
Medical expenses arise, and Caldera suggests using one credit card to charge medical costs and pay them off as soon as possible. The advantage to using one card is that it allows you to tally all medical expenses for the year from one account so that your accountant or CPA may determine if you can deduct the qualified, unreimbursed medical expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.
Caldera and his team help clients pursue their financial goals and determine their net worth, which includes assets and liabilities. Evaluating income and expenses can help determine cash flow and savings. The next step is to set goals and review them annually. Questions Caldera can help quantify include:
● When will you be able to retire?
● How much income will you need?
● How much do you need to save?
● How do inflation and future costs affect these figures?
It is advised to visit CalderaWealth.com and, under the “Resources” tab, select the “Retirement Calculator” to determine where you are financially and if you are on track to meet your retirement and savings goals.
When utilizing existing assets, seek qualified professionals such as Caldera Wealth Management; then, you can pursue excellence in your financial life. This can lead to higher income, personal growth and development, increased self confidence, personal satisfaction and fulfillment.
Caldera Wealth Management is a full-service financial firm serving clients throughout the United States with offices in Nevada. The firm specializes in creating tailored strategies that address complex wealth management issues or business obstacles. For more info, visit calderawealth.com.
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