We all have long-term wealth goals. Trying to reach those goals, though, can be a daunting task. Rather than trying to figure things out on your own, though, it’s possible to use financial tools designed to help you plan.
If you hope to build long-term wealth, here are five financial tools that can make a difference in your money life.
1. Wealth Calculator
Start by figuring out what your money’s capable of using our Wealth Calculator.
With the wealth calculator, you can figure out how much your money will grow, depending on where you put — and how much you can set aside.
While the calculator focuses on retirement, the reality is that you can use it for other goals. I recently used the wealth calculator to estimate how much money would likely be in my son’s 529 in three years, when he’s 19.
By tinkering a bit with the numbers, I was able to adjust the monthly contribution in a way that will help us meet the proper objectives.
The Wealth Calculator is one of the best financial tools because it helps you get a solid idea of what to expect. Hoping to grow your emergency fund? You can get an idea of where your money stands when you use different strategies.
Start with the Wealth Calculator to lay your foundation so you know what you face as you work toward your wealth goals.
2. Personal Capital
Get a handle on your spending as well as what’s happening with your investments. Personal Capital offers you a holistic look at your finances and is one of the most effective financial tools if you want to track your spending and see your investments all in one place.
If you’re frustrated about your ability to reach your wealth goals, being able to look back on your spending and honestly evaluate where the money has gone is vital. You can identify waste and stop spending on things that don’t matter.
Plus, you can also monitor your investments and feel encouraged as you watch your long-term nest egg grow.
One of my favorite financial tools is Betterment. My IRA investments are there, as well as some of my taxable investment goals, including my travel fund. Being able to separate different pots of money allows me to save for different priorities at the same time.
And, of course, Betterment comes with tools like tax loss harvesting that can help you make the most of your money — whether it’s in a taxable or tax-advantaged account.
Additionally, Betterment recently added a Smart Saver feature that invests in high-quality bonds. You get lower risk exposure than you see with stocks, but a yield that’s much higher than you’d see with a high-yield savings account.
Investing is an important part of reaching your wealth goals. With a tool like Betterment, you can work toward different aspects of your finances in one place.
4. Automatic Savings with Digit and Acorns
One way to save is to use financial tools that allow you to do it automatically. Depending on your preferences, there are two solid ways to go about this:
- Digit: Using an algorithm that analyzes your account activity, Digit automatically moves “extra” money from your checking account into an FDIC-protected savings account. The yield isn’t very high, and there is a fee, but for people looking to just make sure they have some type of savings, this can be a good choice to save without thinking about it.
- Acorns: Worried that you don’t have enough money to invest? Acorns will take your purchases and round them up. The money is invested and can help you reach your wealth goals. It’s a simple way to automatically invest, and the potential returns beat something like Digit, which doesn’t offer investing.
Realize, though, that these financial tools alone won’t be enough to help you reach your goals. Instead, you need to look for other ways to free up money in your budget. The Wealth Calculator can help you figure out how to work toward monthly investing and savings goals that will be more effective.
5. Twine (for Partners)
Finally, if you have a partner, it can be hard to get on the same page. This is where financial tools for couples can be so helpful. With an app like Twine, you can see your finances in one place, and you can set goals together. You can both see household spending and even set up situations to work toward shared wealth goals.
Working toward goals together can help you keep your finances — and marriage — on track. If you have a partner, whether you combine all your accounts or keep some separate, a tool like Twine can be a good choice.
No matter your wealth goals, the first step is understanding where you’re at and then making plans to change. These financial tools can help you evaluate your situation and start moving toward the accomplishment of your long-term wealth goals.