Our CEO and Founder, Travis Penfield, had the opportunity to speak on LinkedIn News Live on the topic of how to approach your money management during the upcoming season of this unprecedented year.
Here are some of highlights of the conversation in case you missed it:
How do I get started in looking into financial planning?
The first place you should start is with an accurate view of where you are, financially. That should encompass what you have coming in every month, savings, investments, assets, debts, and last but not least, how COVID has affected your finances. The more complicated this picture is, the more benefit you have potential to get from the help of a licensed financial advisor, but you could also just have this conversation with your family.
No matter what your financial picture is, financial planning should fit your needs and shouldn’t be one size fits all. It should take into account the things that are important to you (travel, buying a home or car, protecting family, etc.) and should be one way that you are able to enter into ups and downs of life with confidence especially in the tumultuous times we’re currently experiencing.
How should you think about big purchases right now?
Do you have different buckets of money set up for the different things you’re trying to accomplish.
A lot of times people have one lump sum of money for everything that they are hoping to pay for and no real idea of the priority of any of them. In times when uncertainty is high, you want to have a plan for what the essentials are so that you never look back with regret or anxiety on a larger purchase.
Knowing your “why” for saving or spending, otherwise, it’s aimless or stressful!
We’re all living in some type of financial shame cycle until we have a plan in place that matches your own “Why”. You need to know the trade off between the things you want in the now and the things you’ll want in the future. That is how you’ll make the major financial decisions that work for you.
How do you balance immediate needs (debts or large purchases) with planning for the long term?
Here is what we have found to be the basic steps that most people’s financial journey takes:
Foundation building. Every stable financial plan must be built on a solid foundation. What does that mean? It means getting out of debt, having emergency reserves in the bank account, and taking advantage of the employer match in a 401k. Once you’ve checked those boxes, you enter the next stage.
Offense & Defense. Offense is where you save money for the things you want: Trips, houses, weddings etc. whereas Defense is where you protect the things and people you love. You’ll likely prioritize each of these at different points in your life and only you will know which one is your priority in the here and now.
Guilt-Free Spending. Once you have a plan in place for both offense and defense, you’re able to know exactly how much money you have available for guilt-free spending. This can be spending for yourself, your family, or philanthropic giving that you are able to go into, confidently, knowing that all of your bases are already covered by your plan.
What is your advice for those who have been laid off or furloughed during these uncertain times?
First and foremost, we’re all in this together. We’re hopefully going to see things turn soon, so don’t lose hope! It may not take anything from the hard times that you are currently going through, but you WILL make it through this. For those of us who haven’t been hit as hard by the pandemic, there is no better time than now to pour back into your communities. They need it.