Gain the Skills You Need for Financial Success
Thinking about finances can be intimidating. Maybe financial success seems out of reach to you, or you don’t think of yourself as a math person. Never fear. You probably already have some of the qualities you need to get control of your financial world, and if you don’t, you can learn and start implementing them in your day-to-day life.
This is the #1 thing that can help you stay on top of things and plan for the future. Paying your bills late hikes up your expenses with fees and penalties and can add major stress to your life. Make a commitment to yourself to organize your bills, whether they arrive in the mail or via text or email. If you have a hard time remembering to pay bills, simply use an app to remind you or add alerts to your calendar. Online banking software can consolidate bills and deadlines and make your life easier.
Spending with discipline is probably even harder than staying organized. It takes a lot of willpower to stick to a budget. But self-control encompasses even more than that: if you can understand how you relate to money and finances psychologically, than you can use coping strategies to help keep your behavior in check. Did you grow up poor? You might be a compulsive spender as an adult. Do you buy things and never take the price tags off? It might be a good idea to disable your password or one-click ordering capabilities. Take a hard look at what habits might be keeping you from working toward your long-term goals. Work extras into your budget so you don’t feel too restricted.
Fact-Based Decision Making
Being willing to remove emotion and tackle difficult financial concepts are key to tailoring your investments to work for your situation and protecting yourself from con artists. Whether it’s a potential investment or choosing a bank, it’s easy to be swayed emotionally. But if you evaluate the facts with critical thinking, then you’ll be able to make smarter decisions. If you feel pressured and hurried, it’s okay to say no, and it might even save you from losing a chunk of money.
Help When You Need It
You’ll probably never have the expertise of an accountant or financial advisor, so it’s important to find resources you can rely on. Be sure to check out referrals. Are they licensed? Are there any complaints registered? What kind of online reviews do they have? Find an investment advisor who isn’t commission-based.
Ultimately, you want to end up with a solid track record of experience that will give you the confidence in your skills for financial success. That comes with time, and of course, energy and hard work. The more confident you can become in your goals and behavior, the better your results will be in the long run.