Investing advice may come and go, depending on the economic environment, the ebbs and flows of the markets, and the life stage of the investor. But foundational financial advice is timeless. Here are seven tips to keep us on track.
Save part of your income every month. This is true regardless of your life stage. If you are in your working years, save for retirement. If you are retired, save for emergencies.
Use automatic deductions if they are available. Maybe your employer offers automatic paycheck deductions, or maybe you can have a little transferred to a mutual fund each month.
Track your income and expenses. Again, this is true regardless of your life stage. You should do it when you are working, and you should do it in retirement. Knowing what comes in and goes out is the key to financial freedom.
Avoid overspending. Avoid buying on impulse. How? Create a budget. Plan your dinner menus in advance. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Keep the money in your wallet to a minimum.
Consider gifts carefully. Gifts and donations may seem like they do not count toward your spending, but your generosity should not threaten your financial security.
Take advantage of your employer’s offerings. If you have a retirement savings plan, a health savings account, or a pre-tax transportation plan, use them. They save money on taxes, and even small savings add up.
Be conscientious. Keep track of your bills, whether they are mailed or accessed online. Review your bank and credit card statements monthly. Pay your bills on time. Refinance mortgages and other loans when it makes sense. Don’t sign anything without reading the contract.
If you need help with your financial planning, please contact us.