Let’s be honest, we are all looking for ways to be smarter with our money, and whether we admit to it or not, we could all use a few professional tips. Whether you have heard these tips before or not, it is a great refresher to go back and analyze your money practices to double check that you’re setting yourself up for success in the future.  View the tips below from, Alan Moore, M.S., CFP fee-only financial planner, and co-founder of the XY Planning Network.

1) Pay yourself first.

This is a really important concept. When you get a paycheck, you save a portion of that money before you even pay your bills. You make this automatic, and you can set up automatic payments either through HR or bank drafts. Money is automatically being saved for all of your various financial goals — and that’s what it means to pay yourself first.


2) Track your spending.

I’m not a big fan of traditional budgeting, but tracking your spending is huge because it gives you insight into where the money’s going. If, at the end of the month, you can’t say where all of your money is going, then you can’t know how you can make adjustments.

© alexskopje

© alexskopje

My advice is pick up a free app like mint.com. Or you can use the envelope method — or you can just use an Excel spreadsheet and keep up with all your receipts. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as you’re tracking your spending by some system. Know where your money is going, because that’s how you’re going to take control of your spending in the long run.


3) Avoid debt at all costs.

I get very tired of hearing this conversation around good debt, bad debt; whether or not the debt is tax deductible and you should take out a mortgage simply because you can deduct on your taxes. All of that is absolute crap! It is not true. That is used to sell you on taking on debt.

You can live your life with no debt. You will be happier and you’ll be financially healthier than anyone that you know taking on debt.


4) Live for today, but also save for tomorrow.

As financial planners, we tend to focus on tomorrow. We’re always talking about retirement and what’s coming in the future, but I think it’s really important that we also focus on today and what’s at hand.

Take the opportunity to enjoy your life. Take the vacations and have the experiences of the time with family and do the things that make you truly happy. You can balance this with the priority of putting some money away, too, so that one day you’ll have enough money to reach financial independence.


Read more tips from the original source here: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-money-advice-financial-planner-2015-12