Hillsboro financial adviser Robert Wall is not sure why a financial New Year’s resolution has not been en vogue. To him, the exercise of writing down every expense is just as valuable as doing curls and crunches in a gym.
To those interested in instituting personal financial changes, Wall recommends balancing checkbooks on a regular basis and sticking to a budget. For some people, budgeting involves setting up smaller cash funds or giving themselves reminding e-mails. Wall added that every act should relate to a financial goal.
“For some people it’s about having no debt at all,” he said. “Some are saving for something.”
Marion financial adviser Tom Kimbrel agreed with many of Wall’s ideas. He said people should look at their routine expenditures — like purchasing an afternoon pop at a convenience store — as a place to save money.
“I don’t want people to be dull, sitting in a chair and staring at the wall,” he said. “But people have to know where their money is going.”
Wall said investing $50 a month into a mutual fund is not as tenuous as in years past. He noted that Dow Jones was up 7 percent, S&P 500 was up 12 percent, and NASDAQ was up nearly 16 percent in 2012 from 2011.
“A lot of people didn’t notice it because we were kind of depressed,” Wall said.
Kimbrel agreed that a professionally managed mutual fund was the best way to invest, but he emphasized saving money in larger sums. He suggested saving at least three months worth of salary in a form that is easily made available.
“It gives you time to get something done,” Kimbrel said. “You get laid off and that next bill’s coming, what are you going to do?”
Kimbrel’s No. 1 recommendation is putting a large amount of money in a Roth Individual Retirement Account. Roth IRAs allow the investor to not have to pay taxes on the money when it is available starting at 59 years old.
“It’s a very powerful tool, especially for young people,” Kimbrel said.
For Marion County business owners, business consultant Dean Claycamp also stressed staying on top of expenses and budgets as often as possible.
He said business should do their books at least monthly but encourages a weekly regimen. If owners are not inclined to do the accounting themselves, Claycamp suggests hiring a professional. Claycamp also emphasized comparing prices among competitors and then trying to fix discrepencies based on items purchased from vendors.
If invoices and balances are checked on a regular basis, businesses can then produce a budget based on costs segregated month to month. Claycamp said this budget should be held to a standard within a few hundred dollars.
“Any budget is a guideline,” Claycamp said. “I don’t have a crystal ball. There could be unexpected increases.”
Claycamp said much of his job is establishing how much of the business is under the owner’s control. He said if bills and payroll taxes are not paid on time, those are harsh warnings that a business is spiraling out of control. He also said that if there is a declining trend in revenue, that owners should look to grab the reigns of an operation.
Claycamp is a regional consultant for Butler Community College. His next appointment at the Marion campus is Jan. 25.
Wall works for Everence Financial Advisers at 105 S. Main St., Hillsboro. His phone number is (877) 467-7294. Kimbral works for Edward Jones at 314 Main St. Marion. His phone number is (620) 382-3899.