Do you feel like you’re always reading articles about what you shouldn’t spend money on? Well, this is not that kind of article! If you’re a professional, here are six things that might be worth your hard-earned cash.
If you ever need to go on a job interview, or your profession often puts you in front of clients, you’ll need a few nice suits or outfits that mix and match well with one another.
You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on this. If you have a favorite brand, be on the lookout for end-of-season sales or outlet stores so you can get the best deal.
Finances are complicated and emotional. Don’t wait until you’re almost retired or in a bad situation to seek out financial guidance!
Financial planners come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to ask the right questions and understand how they are compensated.
You may want to consider a fee-only network (i.e. no commissioned sales). If you are looking for a financial planner that not only works with non-millionaires, but specializes in working with Gen X and Gen Y, the XY Planning Network is a great place to look. I am a proud founding member of this industry-changing organization.
Don’t try to do your own taxes if they’ve become more complicated than you can handle. If you’re not sure that you know what you’re doing with your taxes, or if you are self-employed, have freelance or consulting income, own rental property, or sold stock this year, it might be a good idea to visit with a tax professional.
There are several kinds of tax professionals. According to the I.R.S. website, these are the professionals that can represent you in front of the I.R.S.:
Enrolled agents are licensed by the I.R.S. They must pass a “suitability check” and a comprehensive exam that covers federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation. Enrolled agents also must complete a certain amount of continuing education. Learn more about the Enrolled Agent Program.
Certified public accountants are licensed by state boards of accountancy and must pass the Uniform CPA Exam. They must complete a course of study in accounting at a college or university, as well as pass character and experience requirements set by their boards of accountancy. They, like enrolled agents, must stay current with continuing education to maintain their licenses. CPAs provide many services, including tax preparation and planning.
Attorneys are licensed by state courts or state bars. They must earn degrees in law and pass the bar exam for their respective states. Like CPAs, attorneys offer a variety of services, but can specialize in tax preparation and planning.
Research shows that we enjoy experiences more than material things, so why not spend on great experiences instead of stuff?
You may only want to splurge on travel when it’s a big occasion, like a 10-year wedding anniversary. You can anticipate this cost ahead of time, open up a separate savings account for your trip, and set up an automatic monthly transfer to your travel account.
Any “found” money, like a bonus, tax refund, or gift could also go toward your travel fund. Don’t forget to set up a travel alert on sites like Kayak or Orbitz to get the best airfare, and take an inventory of your credit card rewards points to see if you can snag free or discounted airfare or lodging.
There are some times that you shouldn’t spend big on travel, like if you would be putting the expenses on your credit card and don’t have the money to pay it off immediately. Adjust your travel habits so that you take smaller trips (perhaps within driving distance), and save up for larger, more expensive trips every 2 or 3 years.
If you only have the state minimum auto insurance, or if you skipped out on your employer’s disability insurance program, you should go back and re-evaluate.
Don’t skimp on things that are actually important to your financial well-being, like having decent health insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance. There are several insurances that are quite important to have in place:
- Disability insurance
- Life Insurance
- Car insurance
- Home or renter’s insurance
- Health insurance
We’ve all heard it a million times — start saving early for retirement. If you aren’t signed up for your employer’s retirement plan, go ahead and enroll yourself. If you don’t have a retirement plan at work, consider an IRA or Roth IRA.
If you’re contributing enough to get the match, start bumping it up by another 1% every 6 months. Your future self will thank you!
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes everyone should have access to financial resources and coaching. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.