Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paying for a financial planner

Finally the truth is that you’re better off spending 15 minutes going over your taxes to make sure they’re done right, and that you’ve taken every tax break you’re entitled to, than you are spending 50 minutes researching a stock. A tax break is not subject to the emotional whims of a market, as stocks are. Most retail tax firms will look over your tax return for free.

The reality is that the way you arrange your finances affects your parent’s financial life and vice versa while taking the steps to financial freedom. Perhaps your parents are helping you pay for college. Great idea, but if they’re saving money in your name, it will greatly hinder your chances of getting financial aid. What your parents and grandparents do with their money can affect your financial life. It may seem like there’s no reason for you to meet with a tax advisor but if you didn’t get all the financial aid you were expecting, it may be because your parents, not you, have made a financial mistake. Perhaps your folks need to meet with a tax advisor and since their money affects yours and vice versa, you need to go along with the steps to financial freedom. Throughout this article there are many times of the importance of talking with your parents about money.

If you decide to use a general financial planner, they’ll charge about $100 an hour. Your first meeting will be about three hours, probably less if you’re well prepared. So you have three hours. What should you do? Well this person is a financial planner, as opposed to a financial bowler or a financial belly dancer, so you should spend those hours planning.

It’s important to save but it is inevitable to spend. We’ve all had weak moments in the video store during our steps to financial freedom. A lazy Sunday afternoon or perhaps a lonely Friday drives us to rent something we know we’ll regret. While you can’t salvage your pride from such a purchase, the movie does carry a financial lesson, especially because it fits in well with this whole getting loaded versus getting loaded theme.

People think that tracking expenses restricts freedom. Being broke, however, all the time restricts freedom. Pricing your habits gives you more freedom because you’ll know where you’re spending money. When you know that, then you have the option of arranging your life. You may want to spend more here and less there. You can save up for what you want and not waste money on stuff you don’t want.

You want to keep track of all your expenses for one week. Write down every expense. Every time you swipe that credit card, write a check or pay cash. By the way, this week must be an average week in your life. Don’ conduct this exercise during spring break or right before a big holiday when your shopping muscles get a workout. Pick an average week in the life of you.

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