Power to Spend: Helping Clients Build a Workable Budget

Opiela, Nancy
May 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;May2004, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p40
Academic Journal
The article addresses how financial planners can help their clients build a workable budget. First and foremost, planners agree that a budget needs to relate to a client's goals to provide the motivation to stay on budget. It is also important for planners not to judge. Because it is rare that clients do not need to make any change at all, motivation is also a factor in ultimate success. According to Steven Landis of Landis Financial & Investments Associates in Columbus, Ohio, there are three ways people can accumulate wealth: inheritance, money won in the lottery, or earned income. Landis's goal for most clients is to save ten percent of their gross income. The book The Good Sense Budget Course: Biblical Financial Principles for Transforming Your Finances and Life by Dick Towner, John Tofilon and Bill Hybels offers a number of useful strategies to help clients budget. Among tips offered in the book is keeping fixed expenses in a checking account and variable expenses, such as for gas or entertainment, in cash in an envelope. Whether or not clients make significant changes in their spending and saving, explorations on the budgeting path can cement the relationship between the planner and client.


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