Did you know that everyone has the ability to manage their own finances? The truth is; you don’t need to hire a financial adviser to manage your finances perfectly. Here’s what you need to do to;
Learn the fundamentals of finance
If you’ve handled money before, chances are you already have the most important financial information and knowledge at your fingertips. You just need to remind yourself or discover what you know. The first and most important step to becoming your own financial adviser is learning the fundamentals. The internet has everything you need to know about finance. The information can, however, be overwhelming. To make things easy, focus on the fundamentals of finance namely; general financial planning principles, investing, taxes, insurance, retirement and estate planning. Most people hire financial advisers to advise them on these areas so learning them goes a long way.
When learning about the fundamentals of finance, pay attention to the sources of information you choose. The internet is packed with information from all kinds of sources, so it is crucial to focus on validated sources only. For instance, it is better to learn about taxes from a tax expert than an individual with little to no experience on tax issues. So, pay attention to your sources to ensure you get accurate information. You should also focus on the basics before you dive deeper.
Apply the knowledge
This may be an obvious step. However, most people hardly apply the financial knowledge they have. Once you learn general financial planning principles like budgeting, apply those principles to the letter. Learning how to prepare a budget will help you track your income and expenditure. You can then proceed and find ways of saving and investing. You don’t need a financial adviser to force you to prepare a budget and save money for investing and emergency expenses.
Applying financial knowledge is crucial for financial success. Learning the fundamentals of finance should help you understand your unique financial circumstances as well as help you craft appropriate financial strategies to help you. Financial success is all about taking action and holding yourself accountable. Having financial goals will help you remember why you are working so hard to manage your finances. Financial goals also come with check-in points for assessing your progress. You should revisit your budget every month. Your investments and financial plan should be revisited quarterly and annually respectively. You don’t need a financial adviser for this.
Manage your behaviour and emotions
Financial advisers do more behaviour management than actual financial advising work. In fact, most people have financial problems because of behavioural problems. For instance, misappropriating finances makes it hard to save money. Regardless, people still spend money on things they haven’t budgeted for. It is usually easy to manage money. However, bad habits and emotions usually get in the way of most people. Furthermore, many people assume history will repeat itself and fail to have contingency plans to ensure they always make prudent decision regardless of their emotions.
For instance, stress tends to distract people from their financial goals. Peer pressure also influences many people negatively when making financial decisions. In a nutshell, many things make it challenging to make seemingly simple but smart financial decisions. To make good financial decisions, start by learning how to manage your behaviour and emotions.
Financial advisers stress on making small consistent steps in the right direction. You also need to create action plans in advance and stick to them regardless of your emotions. You should also be willing to get rid of bad behaviours that have a severe impact on your finances i.e. impulse buying. It’s also important to know when you are making financial decisions based on emotions like fear and greed.
It costs a considerable amount of money to hire a financial adviser yet, all the advice you need is readily available online. The most important thing is sourcing financial information from reliable sources. You should also pay attention to the fundamentals of finance only to avoid being overwhelmed by information. Last but not least, apply what you have learned and manage your emotions and bad behaviours that tend to ruin many people’s finances. If you have a problem managing your emotions and bad behaviour, think about what is on the line i.e. your future and that of your family. You don’t need a financial adviser to take action in the right direction.