Sadly, when the relationship breaks down, typically one person is left with less financial awareness than the other. Here are ways to gain the support needed to try and fill in part of that gap in a cost-effective way.
It does not matter what your circumstances are, financial pressure is a common stress in life. When we ask people to come up with a budget, even when they are given a detailed outline with prompts, they give us blank stares. Likewise, when we get those worksheets back, in many cases they are far from reality.
So what can someone do when they don’t know what to do?
For budgets and investing there is help in the modern web-based apps for people that need some support. In the area of budgets the concepts are basic – money in and money out. The goal is to control and be aware of the flow so you can make intelligent choices. Two on-line options come to mind. These are EveryDollar and Budget Tracker. The programs have free versions but it may be worth getting the upgraded program with support.
These programs help you build and monitor your money. It is a bit like eating healthy. By tracking what you take in and then what you expend, you become aware of your habits. It’s not intended to cause distress. But that is the result sometimes when people become aware of how their lifestyle has left them financially. But then they can make changes, correct the course and move on.
Then comes the scarier part of money; investing. I cannot count all the times people ask be what they should do and they get a bit frustrated with the response – it depends. Now there is an electronic advisor that can help you make these choices on your own, at a low cost, stay disciplined in the process and move toward your goals in a more consistent way.
These are referred to as Robo Advisors and there are many of them. Basically most of them use a question and answer method to determine your risk tolerance and goals. From there you will need to select a portfolio for the Robo Advisory to manage. You transfer your funds to the new account and Robo takes over from there. This can be a good option for the person that does not have the inclination or desire to manage an investment portfolio. Some options to look at are:
Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Blooom – for 401(k) plans
To get an overview of these services, Arielle O’Shea wrote an online article with a compare and contrast review that may be of help as you look at the options.
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