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Your 2016 budget, and some tools to help

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Your 2016 budget, and some tools to help

The New Year is a great thing when it comes to planning. It’s a clean slate, a fresh starting line, and unexplored territory. For many, it’s an opportunity to reflect on what’s working, what’s not, and lay down broad goals. In the world of finance, those are wonderful opportunities indeed. Seizing the opportunity is often a three-pronged endeavour.

Part one is to seek out advice from others. Financial advisors and family members alike may have the experience you need to leverage in order to be successful with your budget in 2016. Involve others, and you’re less likely to let your commitment fall to the wayside. Leaning on the notion that there’s strength in numbers can take you a long way. Getting the conversation started with a financial advisor may not only reveal opportunities that might’ve been hidden, it’s also a long-standing relationship that’s good to get in motion, early. Speak to as many people as you can, and you’ll step into the ring armed with information you were once without.

Part two is to set realistic goals. Without them, your resolution(s) will fall off in the same way so many others do. Set short, reachable milestones that create fulfillment and urge you to keep minding your finances. Savings-based resolutions can be particularly tricky, because they’re subject to the typical pitfalls of bold New Year proclamations, in addition to being exposed to the call of vacationing, product releases, and new purchases.

Set short, reachable milestones that create fulfillment and urge you to keep minding your finances.

Smaller achievable steps usually take the form of cataloguing your expenses, accommodating any possible bill increases or emergencies, and coming to terms with the dollar amount you have, per month, to commit to saving. This doesn’t mean pinching every penny that doesn’t go into your bills - on the contrary, we recommend budgeting for ample leisure time and activities. The ticket here is honesty with yourself and realistic maneuvers. Trying to increase the extra amount you have to work with by reducing your monthly breathing room elsewhere is almost always prone to failure.

Part three is to utilize the formidable selection of modern budgeting software available to you on your PC, Mac, or smartphone. 2016 may represent new opportunity, but it’s also arriving ripe with updated applications and great financial platforms to automate processes, guide you visually, and track progress. A couple names at the forefront of budgeting are:

  • Mint - made by INTUIT, Mint can be viewed online and downloaded on just about any iDevice. The platform makes visualized budgeting and automated withdrawal designations a breeze. A stellar, free point of entry system, Mint may just be the first budgeting assistant you want and the last one you need.
  • YNAB - a little more in-depth and a lot less free. You Need a Budget will run you $60.00, but sports a plethora of features that will be a little more attractive to seasoned budgeters. Since the inception of the product, YNAB has skipped a direct connection to your bank account, leaving you in charge of entering transactions and being mindful of your purchases. The YNAB ‘method’ can be found here, and is an excellent differentiator.
  • iBank - for the OS X diehards out there, IGG software brings you iBank. Incredibly complex and yet beautifully designed, iBank is what banking would look like with Apple at the wheel. iBank works with multiple currencies at once, tracks investments, streamlines bill payments, and generates useful, ‘at a glance’ reports on a whim. Enough said?

From the whole Belmont Health & Wealth team, we wish you a happy holiday and a fortuitous 2016. For more information on budgeting and portfolio management, send us a line on social media, or call 1 888 235 6169.

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| Categories: Wealthy Ideas | Tags: financial planning, New Year, wealth management | Return
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