A Guide to Personal Financial Planning

Check out these three tips for a better financial future.

12.18.23
A Guide to Personal Financial Planning (Getty Images)

ChicagoSay what you will about Gen Z, but most people, young and old, agree on this — the generation isn’t afraid to question the status quo. While that tendency has been most recognized in political and social realms, it also holds true for their approach to finances. Look no further than articles about their spending habits and surveys about their economic concerns to verify that the generation cares about its financial future. 

As they weigh the various financial decisions they’ll need to make in the coming years, it might be helpful to keep a few things in mind. Here are few tips provided by Forbes contributor and financial professional Cicely Jones:

Know who to trust for financial advice

According to Jones, some of the most reputable sources that may offer helpful financial advice include peer-reviewed academic resources and studies, professionals like CPA’s and CFA’s that have designations directly related to financial advice and reputable fund rating agencies like Morningstar. 

Be weary of individuals offering advice that use blanket and absolute statements and that create a sense of urgency with their advice. In such cases, use a second, reputable source before taking it.

Customize your financial plan

Gen Z is different from previous generations in important ways. It’s on track to be the highest educated generation of all, it navigated digital learning during a global pandemic and has access to more information than ever before. Jones said it’s important to keep these and other unique factors in mind as young people plan their financial futures because they might dictate what the planning looks like.

For the young visual learners, it might look like writing down specific financial goals on a vision board and revisiting them semi-annually, for example. For others, the planning might involve emerging digital tools. In either case, customize your financial planning to your needs.

Work smarter, not harder

Rather than saving minimally for the future and maximizing lifestyle in the present, keep a budget that makes sense for the life you want. Then, save whatever excess you have toward your key financial goals. If you don’t do it, it’ll be like chasing your tail, Jones explained. 

“Not keeping a budget at all can cause lifestyle creep, meaning that your lifestyle expenses always increase to match your income, causing you to live paycheck to paycheck,” she wrote in the article.

Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on X: @noahwritestoo.

Edited by NaTyshca Pickett

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