Saving is not just about a plan – it’s a behaviour.
Part of this behaviour is rooted in our mental ability to overcome our own fears. We reduce these fears by mentally preparing for life goals and recognising that we have what it takes to achieve them.
Mentally preparing for long term savings is like preparing for a long-distance race or a trip. You start exercising today so you can cope with the physical demands of next year’s marathon. You sort out your travel necessities now so you don’t struggle with them when you have to go on your trip.
The same goes for your long-term savings. Starting to save today helps to accumulate more wealth for the future; anticipating and providing for the expenses that you expect to incur.
Here are four ways to help you prepare for a financially secure future:
1. Set a goal and start saving as soon as you can
Establishing a monthly budget helps you develop healthy spending habits, reduce your expenditure and have more to invest. Having a goal is a big part of this process because it’s really hard to save if you don’t know what you’re saving for.
The value of saving early is that you’re creating an opportunity for your money to work for you longer through the value of compounding interest.
2. Start working on your debt
Being engaged with your budget means being engaged with your debts too. Actively dealing with your debt now, frees up money to direct towards your future. Picking a debt management plan that will work best for you and your unique goals is the first step.
Diminishing your debt should be one of your goals. Seeing your debt decrease will encourage you to save and build more wealth for your future self. There are various strategies you can use to settle your debt in a way that works best for you.
3. Stick to your retirement plan
It’s like sticking to the road map, even if there is construction along the way. Having a retirement plan can help you look into your future more optimistically because you’ll be comfortable knowing steps to ensure it have already been taken. This can be really hard when markets bottom-out or there is a major crisis – but this is when it’s even more important to stick to YOUR plan.
If you’re struggling to stick to your plan, consider doing your research on the various retirement plans and consult your financial adviser for help with balancing your investments or maximizing your tax advantage in order to build a substantial investment portfolio whilst creating more liquidity for your current situation.
4. Adopt a more positive outlook on your finances
Developing a positive outlook towards money begins with you understanding that a life of abundance is created by starting to enjoy what you have instead of focusing on what you think you need. It’s about stopping to smell the roses on your long-distance run, or taking a break to drink in the scenery on your road-trip.
Learn to make saving a part of your lifestyle. Recognise that short term savings can be good but prioritizing long term savings can create a more sustainable future for you. See it as a way of ensuring you have more spending power in the future.
Partnering with a financial adviser can help you put a plan into place – but also change your behaviour and attitude when it comes to money to make sure that your complete financial plan supports the life you want to lead and the legacy you wish to leave.