Almost 3 months into 2020 and we’ve seen a wild ride so far. No matter where you look, there always seems to be some force of nature making news whether that be media, politics, environment or social issues. All of this information can overload us at times and detract from our long-term financial goals. As this is a financial blog, I thought I would comment on 6 habits to keep you on financial track in 2020.
- Make 2020 the year to finally change your money mindset. What is a money mindset? Primarily, it is the relationship that you have with your money. Have a positive attitude and try not to get held up with negative thoughts or past decisions. Seek professional advice and ask questions. Discuss and do your research. Your relationship with money should be positive and encouraging, especially when you feel like you are in control.
- Eliminate the poor spending habits. Focus on ditching the bad debt and start to live within your means. Focus on a cash flow plan and a monthly budget to get there. There are lots of free cash flow and budgeting programs out there that you can download on your device – use them! If you have too much debt, consider speaking to a professional to help sort it out.
- Pay yourself first! Don’t give all your hard-earned cash away the minute you earn it. Create a savings habit and make sure you focus on saving at least 10% of your monthly income before you spend it.
- Invest and save early – consistently! If you invest your money weekly, bimonthly, or monthly, you are doing something called dollar cost averaging, and you might not even know it. Dollar cost averaging is a strategy in which an investor places a fixed amount of money into a investment instrument (typically mutual funds, segregated funds, or stocks) on a regular basis. Each time the money is invested, it is invested at a fluctuating price thereby ‘blending’, or ‘averaging’ your cost for that specific investment instrument. Blending your investment over the course of time can have the effect of reducing portfolio risk as you are not subjecting yourself to a fixed price. Investing over time can be a safer and easier way to invest. A Little bit each month or each paycheque can go a long way.
- Invest on the principals of pro-action, and not reaction. Stick to your plan, invest wisely, with guidance and purpose, and try and not let the external noise get in your way of long-term goals. If you save for your future with a well defined and clear plan, the consistent media-barrage of positive or negative news should have little effect on your psyche.
- Choose a destination. Get a plan together. If you need help, talk to a professional who can help you put a plan together and monitor it to make sure you meet your goals. An advisor can act as a financial coach to help keep you on track.
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