At the most basic level, business transition planning is a strategy that can be put into play when a business is sold or changes hands. For company owners nearing retirement, a successful transition plan can play an important part in creating and preserving the value of the business after it has changed hands.
Atlanta Financial Blog
The Better Way to Budget – In Reverse
Around the beginning of the year I tend to get a lot of questions – both from clients and friends – about how to do a better job budgeting and saving on a regular basis. Studies have shown that saving money is one of the top five New Year’s resolutions, and is also one of the top five resolutions most people fail. The reason for that is simple: Our traditional version of budgeting is difficult to establish, time-consuming to manage and allows minimal margin for error.
That conventional method would say to limit what you’re spending in various categories then save whatever is leftover at the end of the month. I would argue that the better way to budget is to start with your savings and limit your spending to what remains. One of the biggest difficulties with traditional budgeting is that unexpected expenses tend to crop up every month. The most common “unusual” or “one-off” expenses I see are travel, gifts (especially around the holidays), vehicle and pet expenses. No matter what it is, something always comes along to blow a hole in the side of your budgeting ship and prevent you from saving what you should.
So rather than piecing together a savings plan based on your spending patterns, I’d encourage you to try building a spending plan based on your savings. The steps to do so are below:
Step 1) Identify What You’re Saving For
Research has shown that we’re much more likely to save toward specific, stated goals than just for the sake of saving. It may sound like a simplistic exercise, but I encourage everyone to think about what they’re really saving for. That may be big expenses like a down payment on a home, or smaller ones such as holiday gifts and travel. Once you’ve done that…
Step 2) Name Your Savings Account(s)
Once you’ve identified what you want to be saving toward, it’s helpful to label your savings account(s) accordingly. That way when you log into your banking app you don’t see “Checking “and “Savings,” you see “Checking” and “Italy Trip.” You’re much less likely to justify “borrowing” from your dream vacation than from a generic savings account!
Another helpful step when saving toward multiple goals is to have separate accounts for each one. Many banks make it easy to open multiple savings accounts and nickname each of them based on your goals. That way you can track exactly what progress you’re making toward each one of your goals.
Step 3) Automate Your Savings
Based on the goals you set in Step 1, now decide how much needs to be saved toward each. For example, if that vacation next year will cost $1,800 then you’ll need to set aside $150 per month. If you need to earmark $1,000 for holiday spending then begin saving $83 per month now. Whatever your savings goal(s), calculate out what you need to set aside every pay period and set up an automatic transfer to that savings account. For longer-term goals – outside of the coming 12-18 months – I recommend investing that cash each month in a conservative, diversified portfolio.
Step 4) Spend the Leftovers
Once you’ve established your short- and long-term goals and set up your automatic savings, whatever is left in your checking account is free to be spent!
The obvious question I typically field is, “what if there’s not enough left over to make ends meet?” If that’s the case then you may be setting savings goals that are too aggressive or, worse, have fallen victim to lifestyle creep. I encourage everyone – both clients and friends – to be realistic with your time horizons and start small with your savings goals.
Having a plan for your savings, no matter how small, is much better than not saving at all. If you have questions about or need help with establishing a smarter savings plan, our Wealth Managers are here to help! Our Young Professionals (YP) FIT™ program and FIT™ Perspectives podcast can be a great resource for getting started building out a long-term plan for financial success.
The travel industry has begun to see growing demand as we move closer to summer. However, not all travel will be the same, as much of the demand is directly related to the COVID-19 vaccine and reduced CDC restrictions. Instead, industry trends have emerged based on individual comfort levels as they apply to different modes of travel.
Below we will explore some of the factors that have contributed to an increase in travel and how different industries are responding to it.
Following a year of economic instability, it appears that many of us are turning our attention to something that’s been around for decades, but has recently piqued national interest – inflation. In fact, a recent study found that people are Googling the word “inflation” at a rapid rate, with a peak not seen since 2010…
As mothers, sisters and daughters, women are often counted on to be caregivers for family members in need. Whether it’s something as small as a cold or as debilitating as a terminal illness, women are typically the ones to care for and help out when a loved one is sick. But what happens when the caregiver is in need of her own care? Too many women are stuck facing this dilemma head on, instead of preparing for it while there’s still plenty of options, resources and time ahead. Below are a few reasons why it’s so important for women to plan for their own long-term care strategies now.