There are three keys to starting 2021 with personal and financial success. Here are our recommendations from the Vance Wealth advisors.
After a year like 2020, it might be tempting to jump straight into 2021 and never look back. Last year, we all dealt with massive disruption and change in life and business, so this year, we’re all eager to return to some sense of normalcy. But moving forward without a clear picture of how those changes affect your life and finances doesn’t set anyone up for financial success in the new year. In fact, if you wish to start the year with financial success, the key is looking back to learn before looking forward to grow. Here are three steps to starting 2021 with a clear picture of where you are – so you may end the year where you want to be.
- Know Your Budget
The best way to get a good understanding of your budget is to review your recent spending. Understanding your budget will help you identify areas to cut back or redirect funds. It’s especially important this year since major spending categories may have changed.
“It’s hard to identify opportunities for investing, savings and other financial goals if you don’t actually know how you’re spending your money,” said Jerrod Ferguson, Vice President of Vance Wealth in Santa Clarita. “Knowledge really is power when it comes to your money.”
There are a few easy ways to get a clear picture of your 2020 spending. Most major credit card companies will provide annual spending reports that give you a detailed analysis of where your money went last year. Jerrod also suggests using a budget tracking software or app like Mint. After inputting your budget limits for each category, you can track your accounts and spending in one place. It will even send you alerts if you’re in danger of overspending in a certain category. This can help you adjust your spending before it goes off course, rather than beating yourself up after missing a target.
- Set Personal & Financial Goals
Once you know where your money has been going, you can set realistic and achievable goals for 2021. At Vance Wealth, we let your future dreams guide the course of our financial plans, so we suggest setting personal and financial goals at the start of each year. After last year, our goals may have shifted, as the pandemic put new things in focus.
“Last year reminded us that life is short and our time is precious,” Jerrod shared. “My wife, Julie, and I knew we needed an estate plan, and after everything that happened last year, we moved up our timeline and made sure our estate was in order.”
When deciding your personal and financial goals for 2021, choose a few to focus on for maximum impact. Whether you want to increase the savings in your emergency fund or pay off debt, focus on the few goals that will make the biggest difference.
- Rebalance Your Portfolio
After you’ve established a budget and set a few powerful goals for 2021, it’s time to look at your portfolio and prepare for a strong start to the year. Rebalancing your portfolio to the ideal target allocation is especially important after so much market volatility and change. Whether you have personal investments, retirement investments or otherwise, this is a vital step.
“Your target allocation is based on a number of factors, and it will be different for everyone,” Jerrod explained. “Rebalancing is so important because it allows you to take some risk off the table, take some profit off the table and plan for the next unexpected event. It helps align your investments with your goals for future spending and saving.”
The Bottom Line
Especially after a year of massive change in life and business, looking back to learn before looking ahead to grow may position you for success in 2021. These three keys provide a foundation for all of us to achieve more – such as the financial independence and confidence that you and your family can live the life you’ve always imagined.
We also understand that every financial journey is unique and includes important personal choices that have significant consequences. That’s where we excel.
If you want personalized recommendations for your budget, goals and investments, the Wealth Advisors at Vance Wealth provide a custom roadmap to achieving more for you and your family.
To schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact Lauren Fox at 661-775-0950.
Vance Wealth, Inc. (“Vance Wealth”) is a registered investment advisor. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Vance Wealth and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.