financial planning

When Long Term Stability Isn’t the Right Goal

If you were to trust the average financial talking head in America, you would think that the best way to use your money was to save for a cushy retirement. This financial planning model appeals to a certain type of personality, and in reality, a certain part of each us. After all, nobody wants to be poor, especially when you get old and are less able to take care of yourself. I would argue, however, that this is the most fearful way to save and grow your money. Because money takes a long time to grow in traditional investment, time is your best friend. It’s why this retirement-focused investment model is the most natural. It’s also the lowest risk, and fits with the general disposition of us fearful monkey people.griggsphoto

But there is another way. It is possible to invest in such a way that you enjoy wealth of at least some scale in the short term. I’m not going to sell you a get rich quick scheme. There’s no reliable way to do that. What I am going to sell you is an alternative philosophy. Wealth is pretty pointless if you’re unable to enjoy your life. That’s the rough side of poverty, not have options, not being able to choose what you do with your time and energy. By some definitions, freedom is the ability to choose what you do with these precious resources. This is something you want to cultivate now, in the present day. You can do this a number of ways.

  • Live Beneath Your Means. Money worries are a drain on your mind and your relationships. By getting your budget under control, you’ll be able to eliminate debt and begin saving for the future. You’ll also be able to cultivate personal habits and hobbies that give you enjoyment but do not cost a lot of money. These are satisfying activities that will last a lifetime and can provide the same kind of fulfillment you are starting to enjoy now. By living this way, you’ll be growing your wealth at a faster pace, enjoying a potentially better standard of living, getting more opportunities, and living on less. It’s a win-win.
  • Leveraging the Money Your DO You may have only a little bit of savings or credit available to you. But you may have some resources, often in the form of an inheritance, a family heirloom, or a structured settlement. These items may be sold and the money reinvested into something that increases your earning potential NOW, like higher education or starting a business. Structured Settlement loans are a great way to get a lump sum based on a payment system that would only give you a little money at a time. You can leverage this cash to absolutely change your life, in weeks not decades.

By learning to live within your means and increase your immediate earning potential, you can enjoy a better standard of living now, not just when you’re 65. And after all, this plan makes sense. Not everyone has their health when they are old. Life is best enjoyed when you’re young, so find a way to maximize your opportunities now.


Financial Planning and Management

With the current economy, it is necessary for individuals to be very precise in their budgeting and financial planning. This will ensure that you do not find yourself in deep financial crisis. From a student to the working class community, a sound financial plan is essential so that at any one point, your expenses are never higher than your income. Apart from the need to meet daily expenses with the limited income, financial planning also helps in making long term decisions that shape and determine our future.

Obtaining Funds for Your Business

Being materialistic is human nature, as we all want to be rich so that we can enjoy the finer things in life. If you want to get that dream car or dream house, your blood and sweat should earn that for you as there are no shortcuts to success. When starting a business, getting the needed funds to get your business to take off can be difficult. It is important for you to first understand the lending market for you to be sure to approach the lending institutions that best understands your needs. The growth and diversified services of the lending market have provided tailored services for every individual who needs funding.

OneimageMortgages

A good mortgage plan is also among the most sought things as it is every person’s dream to own a good home. With time, people get tired of paying rent every month and all one wants is a nice backyard where you can enjoy a nice quality time with friends and family. For you to be eligible to receive a mortgage, you have to show that you have the capability to handle your money. Your level of debt reflects how responsible you are in handling your finances. How you pay your bills without forfeiting will also show that you have no credit problem and you will easily qualify for a mortgage.

Holidays and Vacations Aftermath

Having a good financial plan will also cushion you during holiday’s aftermath like after Christmas, a summer vacation and many other holidays. There is always the crisis that most people face when kids are going back to school as normal life resumes after the holidays. Making a good budget and saving for the holidays will always make sure that you are not in debt when you need money the most. From a business perspective, a drop in profits is experienced during low seasons as well. Many malls, shop outlets and supermarket chains witness a drop in customers at specific seasons of the year. Budgeting in this economy is necessary to make sure that such market shocks do not affect your business.

Professionalism

There are many reliable and credible financial advisors out there who will give you expert advice in multiple fields. Whether you need advice in personal finance, budgeting, handling inflation and other basic lifestyle tips, you should seek the help of professional financial advisors. One of such experts is Buddy Loans, a UK based lending firm that is authorized to carry out its activities by the Financial Conduct Authority. The company also has a very informative blog where you can keep yourself updated with latest in financial industry including some really professional infrographics.


Two Ways That You Can Starting Saving For Retirement

Regardless of the numerous uncertainties that the future brings, retirement is one constant fact that looms in the distance. However, if you plan for your retirement well enough, then this period of your life may not be so uncertain after all. It’s not just enough for you to set your finances in order so that you could retire in relative comfort. Part of planning for your retirement also includes knowing when you will, or would want, to retire; where you will live when you do retire; and what you would fill your time with during that time.

5474213121_2dce5e59b3When should you start saving for retirement?

The best time to start saving for retirement is as early as you can manage. The reason for this is because when you start contributing to your retirement fund earlier, the power of compounding allows you to make more out of your money. Stocks, mutual funds and employer-sponsored retirement funds need ample time to give you a significant nest egg since the longer that your money works for you, the more you make in the end. However, it is never too late to start saving for retirement even when you’ve already missed the early train, so to speak.

What is a 401(k) and other company plans?

401(k) is an example of an employer-sponsored retirement plan. On top of 401(k), there is also 403(b). When you take advantage of such retirement plan, you get automatic savings as well as tax incentives to save for retirement. In most cases, these employer-sponsored retirement plans also offer matching contributions.

The great thing about saving through a 401(k) account is that your contributions are tax deductible or you can take advantage of tax-deferred growth. At the same time, when the going gets tough, you have the option to borrow from your plan or to make use of your funds in the event of “hardship” such as when you’re sending your kids to college.

However, there are penalties when you withdraw your funds early, which mean that you’ll have to wait until you are at the normal retirement age before you can take full advantage of your earning. At the same time, there is a yearly cap on the amount of contributions to you can make.

What is a mutual fund?

If your employer does not offer a retirement plan, then you can choose to go for a mutual fund instead. A mutual fund is a pool of stocks or bonds which are professionally managed, divided and then sold to investors. The great thing about going for a mutual fund, especially if you’re on your own when it comes to building your retirement fund, is that the stocks and bonds are already diversified. At the same time,  Nick Scali on twitter also agrees that the low initial purchase of the stocks makes it easy for amateur investors to buy difficult to acquire stocks and bonds of companies. However, just because the fund is professionally managed does not provide an assurance that the funds will perform well and fluctuating returns is not uncommon.

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Carl Farell is a financial planner who has vast experience in mutual funds, stocks, insurances and savings. His blogs often feature articles on investing, financial management and lease financing.


How To Grow Your Investment And Gain Financial Independence

Everyone wants to achieve financial independence—that is to be free from the chronic and daily woes of having not enough money. While you can earn money by going to your 8 to 5 job day in and day out, some individuals choose to play it smart and invest. The great thing about investing is that instead of making you put in the work, your money does it for you. But before you make a nosedive for investing simply because it promises the possibility of money in the future, you first need to find out exactly what it is you want to get out of it.

Flickr ImageWhat is your goal in investing?

You may have heard of miracle stories involving ordinary people suddenly making it big just because of a simple investment move. To be perfectly honest, you may not be able to quit your job months, or even years, after you start investing. Unless you decide to make investing your primary source of your bread and butter, you will have to carry on with your job and invest only on the side.

However, the best reason for you to invest your money is so that you’ll gain financial independence even during your twilight years. This means that you can live comfortably even after you retire without worrying about how you will be able to manage your finances. This may dampen your spirits a bit considering that there has been so many stories of individuals who invest with their yachts and their life in the lap of luxury, But then again, only a handful of individuals, and they often devote their entire lives to the ins and outs of the investment world, manage to land with such a fortune. The wisest goal in your case is to have your investments earn enough for you to live off during your retirement and even after you’ve joined the great majority.

What are the two investing strategies that you should be looking into?

1. Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a type of investment vehicle wherein funds are collected from numerous investors and are managed and invested by money managers into different securities including bonds and stocks. The portfolio of the mutual fund would be structured according to the investment objectives of those who contributed to the fund. One advantage of going with mutual funds is that even though you only have a small amount of capital to invest, you can still gain access to the diversified portfolios which would otherwise be difficult for you to buy into if not for the mutual fund. Of course, it’s crucial that you pick out high-quality fund providers.

2. Buying and Holding Stocks

If you want to have a more hands-on approach to investing, then why not try Warren Buffet’s way of doing things. Stock picking may give you are a more psychological satisfaction of purchasing a stock that increases in value, but if you purchase stocks of reputable companies and then hold on to your purchase for years, you’ll have a more valuable asset on your hands in the form of your portfolio. You may add Nick Scali on twitter when he mentioned that when your stocks start gaining dividends, you’ll can reinvest that amount and see the number of your stocks grow.

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Carl Farell is a registered financial planner by profession. He also loves to write about finance and a regular contributor to investment blogs that cover wide array of personal finance topics such as mutual funds, stocks, insurances and savings.


The Single Parent Financial Safety Net

At the risk of recounting anxieties here that are no doubt familiar to pretty much anyone reading this: times are tough at the moment. Being a single parent isn’t exactly a walk in the park at the best of time, but the state of the economy has further complicated the prospect of parenting without a partner. While the challenges of single parenting are probably too numerous to list here, a good argument could be made that virtually all of them are in some way, monetary. At the very least, if money doesn’t inevitably make someone’s life easier, having less of it makes life harder.

So, with the importance of money established, here are ways in which a single parent can manage it wisely.

Track Income and Carefully Maintain a Budget

This may seem like an obvious one, but establishing and sticking to a budget is extremely important. Do so by taking an inventory of monthly spending and plot out spending patterns based on fixed and average expenditures: how much always goes to rent or mortgage and bills, and how much on average goes to food, gas, clothing, entertainment, etc. Once a budget’s been set up, it’s easier to plan spending and it’s easier to save.

Almost inevitably, budgets reveal surprises: more money is consistently spent in one area than you’d have guessed, while you end up spending less in another, etc. Understanding those trends also contributes to effective saving.

Build up Savings and an Emergency Fund

Everyone’s saving decisions and priorities, of course, unique and based on their specific budget and spending habits. However, there are some more universal hints that can contribute to good saving habits. One good strategy is thinking of savings as money that isn’t yours (for spending at least), or like another bill. Getting in the habit of putting away as little as twenty dollars a month in a savings account can yield huge benefits later. Most banks will automatically transfer a portion of a paycheck into a savings account.

Make Sure Your Insurance is Up To Date

While no one is particularly fond of making insurance payments, doing so is far better than the alternative. Most important are health and life insurance. More than 60% of bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical expenses and when one parent is watching over their own health and that of their children, the threat of those expenditures is that much more pronounced. Life insurance is just as important. Morbid as it is- buying life insurance is comparably important. Should anything happen to a single parent, life insurance can provide for their children.

Plan Ahead, Stay Employable and Plan for Hardship

Keeping money flowing into the family coffers is obviously extremely important, and having a job is necessary for that flow of funds. If additional job training and/or education is available, it’s virtually always a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity. If a job is temporary, shaky or layoffs seem likely, get started on looking for more work. While it’s a cliché to assert that the best time to look for a job is while you have one, it’s also true. Start a job search before it becomes absolutely necessary to do so and consider padding your income with part time or freelance work if that’s available and doable.

Furthermore, if a gap in employment does loom, look into what steps are necessary for setting up unemployment benefits. Less well known is supplemental unemployment insurance, which can be invaluable for those concerned that an unemployment is looming. Generally, supplemental unemployment programs will pay at least 50% of someone’s former paycheck, making up the difference between state benefits and that 50% or more.

Basically, it comes down to planning and organization. Plan a budget, plan for the future, plan for potential financial hurdles and organize accordingly. Do that and there’s very little that can’t be accomplished.

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Frank McCourt is an investment, frugal living, and just-about-anything-else finance related. When pried away from his laptop, he enjoys fishing and hiking with his wife across the northwest.


Ways To Stop Wasting Money And Start Saving For Your Future

We all learned about money in one way or another as children, but when you become an adult, the rules of money change drastically. There just isn’t as much wiggle room as there was when you were a teen or a young adult. There are always new ways being discussed about how to save the most and how to create a financially stable future. While we may not be able to give you all the answers, there are a few things that we think everyone should know about saving that will benefit your family in the long run.

Locating and Limiting Unnecessary Spending

It can be very easy to get caught up in today’s society. Everyone is all about having the best of the best, upgrading to the newest, fanciest and most desired products, from the cell phone you use to the car you drive and even the home you decide to purchase. When trying to keep up with the Joneses, it’s easy to forget to pay attention to the minor details. That $5 monthly fee you pay for your checking account? Well, while it doesn’t seem like much, that mere few dollars a month quickly becomes $60 a year and $300 over five years. That car insurance that just doesn’t seem to lower drastically enough even though you’ve been with the company for a very long time may have great customer service but if you are paying far more by sticking around, it may be time for change.

That’s the trickiest thing for many people to do, is allow change to occur as necessary. Sometimes opening up a different bank account, taking the time to place money in a CD or saving account and starting a college fund for yourself and your children seems impossible but every dollar – every penny – adds up, so now is the perfect time to start. It’s never too early, and it’s definitely not too late.

Being Cautious with Loans

As you get older and have an increased number of financial responsibilities and needs, loans often become a part of everyday life. It may not be that you haven’t planned accordingly, it’s just that things such as schooling, purchasing a car and buying your first home aren’t exactly cheap. No matter what type of loan you are looking for, it’s important that you shop around. Some lenders are going to offer lower monthly payments, lower interest or even lower initial charges.

When looking for a car loan, be realistic in the vehicle you can afford. Many people purchased based on looks, but focusing on things such as reliability, mileage and maintenance requirements is a much smarter way to go. When it comes time to purchase a home, you want to find a mortgage that is about one third of your total monthly income. This way you have some wiggle room in the event you do not make as much during a certain month. It’s also important to ask lenders about potential prepayment penalties and when able, placing additional money towards your principal so you can get out of debt faster.

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Today’s guest author, Howard Ross, works as a mortgage specialist in Toronto. He works as a stand up comedian for his night job and entertains people on various open mic nights in the city.


10 Easy Ways To Save Money

Saving MoneyWhen times are hard there are two ways to ease the burden. You can bring in more money or find ways to save money. Creating additional income can be difficult, but saving money is quick and easy. There are many small changes you can make that will have a huge impact on how much money you spend. Here are ten easy things you can do to save money and ease your burden right now.

1. Stop eating out. It’s fun and relaxing, but take a moment to consider how many groceries you can buy with the same $50 you would spend at a restaurant.

2. Fast food counts as eating out. Fast food is expensive and dining on it several times a week can really add up. Pay attention to how often you’re running through a drive-through and put that money towards groceries and home-made meals, instead.

3. Lower your grocery bill by buying what you need and will use. That great deal on apples is money wasted if the fruit rots and winds up being thrown away. The same goes for lunch meat, dairy products and other perishable foods.

4. Clip coupons for extra savings. Pair up the coupons with sales at the grocery store to lower your bill further.

5. Drive more conservatively. Lower your fuel cost by accelerating gently, coasting when possible and using the cruise control on the highway.

6. Lower your heating bill and air conditioning bill. Utilities must be paid, but you can lower the expense for them. Bump your heater down a few degrees in the winter and take the air up a few degrees in the summer. In cool weather open the curtains as soon as you rise and let the sun warm your home naturally. In the summer, keep the blinds closed as long as possible to reduce the heat coming in.

7. Avoid the stores and shop with a list when you must go. Impulse purchases will quickly eat into your budget. If you aren’t at the stores you can’t buy things on a whim. When you do have to go to the store, take a list and stick to it. Base decisions on what you actually need, not just what you want.

8. Double check prices before making bigger purchases. If you are in the market for a new camera or other item, take the time to do some price checking. Research reviews and price out the item with different stores. Buy with the company that offers the greatest bargain.

9. Keep your car longer. There’s nothing like that new car smell, but that great smell comes along with a large bill that must be paid every month. Keep the car you have, pay it off and enjoy not having a car payment for a while.

10. Skip the bottled water and the vending machines. They’re convenient, but that convenience comes with a price. It’s far cheaper to invest in a water filter and some travel bottles for water. Pack your own snacks and take your own crystal clear water for optimal savings.

Liesl H. is a writer working with the California Institute of Finance at CLU. Liesl has years of experience writing in a wide variety of industries including personal finance and education.


5 New Year’s Resolutions To Make For Your Money

Financial DecisionsNew Year is a time when many people make promises to themselves which often involve being more positive, being healthier, and even being more responsible with their money. During tough economic times, it’s very important to remember that the financial decisions you make today will greatly impact your future. We look at some resolutions you can make for the coming year to help you build a better financial future:

1. Keep track of where your money goes

If you don’t keep track of your spending and saving every month, it’s definitely time to make the resolution start. It’s vital to keep track of your finances by logging all of your income and expenditure, as well as tracking interest earned on savings and the growth, or indeed losses, made by your investments. Christmas is a time when many people overspend, one last present, one forgotten relative or one new outfit for the special day, can lead many people to spend more than they have. Christmas is probably the hardest time of the year to keep track of your spending, but the New Year should be the time you resolve to put it right.

2. Save more by repaying debt

Interest rates are very low, so putting your money into savings accounts will not earn you as much as it used to; you may also find that stock market investments are too risky for you. Repaying debt can therefore often be the answer. The interest rate you pay on unsecured debt, for example personal loans and credit cards, can still be high, even in these times of relatively low interest rates.

Why save and get an interest rate of 3% or 4% when you might be paying nearly 20% on your credit card debt?

3. Diversify your investment portfolio

If you are an investor, resolve to keep track of how well your portfolio is diversified in the New Year. Successful investors know how important it is to diversify your portfolio, between different asset classes, such as equities, fixed interest assets, property and cash, in order avoid putting all of your eggs into one basket. Working with a professional, trustworthy Independent Financial Adviser, who will guide you every step of the way, can be a great way to diversify with ease and confidence. Alternatively there are many websites available to help the DIY investor achieve the same objective.

4. Learn about investing

If you don’t know anything about investing your money, use the coming year to learn all that you can. The first step to successful investing is to educate yourself; the time you put into your financial education will certainly be rewarded in the future, as you make fewer mistakes.

There are a huge range of resources available to choose from. You could take a class in person or online, or you can read up on the subject by browsing through books, magazines and a select few of the countless websites on the subject. Of course each method is different some starting with basic concepts whilst others will look at the advanced techniques used by professionals.

Websites such as MoneySavingExpert or Motley Fool are a great place to start.

5. Choose an Independent Financial Advisor

If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own investment decisions, then the answer is probably to find the right adviser.

Of course working with an adviser will mean you have to pay them, nothing comes for free, however, it should mean less mistakes are made and ultimately that you make more money, which at the end of the day is the main aim of investing.

Picking a professional who can teach you and help you grow your money at the same time is the perfect way to get on track quickly and easily. The right adviser will be able to understand your needs and address them in the best way for you, but be careful; the wrong advisor will lead you into making the wrong decisions, so do your research, interview a number of advisers, take recommendations and above all, choose wisely.

If you can’t get a recommendation for an adviser, try Unbiased to search for IFAs in your area.

Phillip Bray writes for Investment Sense and is an expert on all areas of personal finance including savings, investments, and pensions, particularly SIPPs.


Tips to Save Money on Any Budget

So many people these days become so caught up in the moment and how they can barely keep up with their bills. What many of these people don’t realize is that no matter how ‘tight’ money may be, there are always ways to go about making the most of the cash you do have and even have some left over to save. If this sounds impossible to you, then you should definitely read on because we can help you no matter how tough your situation may seem.

Every Penny Makes a Difference

Piggy savings bank

Too many people are so caught up in the short term and convinced that the long just is just out of reach that they do not realize how each day is an opportunity to save. Let’s say you are tempted to spend $2 on that coffee today. While it’s fine to treat yourself, why not take those few dollars once in a while and instead of spending them, put them in your savings account. $2 may not sound like much but 2 can quickly become 4, which becomes 8 and so forth. You’ll quickly start to see how those little extra expenses can help you in the future and when you have a high interest savings account, your money can add up quicker than you may think.

Know How Much You Spend and On What

A lot of people try to save so much and are overly strict on themselves. While this can work for a period of time, in the long run; if you restrict yourself too much, you are bound to go on a spending spree and all of your progress will seem like nothing. So, give yourself spending money from time to time so you don’t feel so limited. No one likes to feel like they are working for nothing.

Take some time to look at your receipts or credit card account and see how much you spend on what. This is going to help you to figure out where you may need to slow down a bit so you can save more.

Many people don’t realize how much they are spending because they choose to use credit cards or debit cards. Before you know it, your limit is reached and you are put in a tight spot. This is why you may want to try using cash for a period of time. This is going to allow you to better track what you spend and figure out what items you truly need and which things you can go without.

Shop for Deals and Hide What You’ve Saved

Money under the mattress

One of the best things you can do is to shop around and find the best prices. Even if you only save a few bucks here and there, you can take that money and pretend it was spent; because it would have been if you hadn’t checked various stores and put it into a savings account. You’ll be surprised how quickly this money can add up.

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Lisa Jackson is a financial advisor and tries helping people with financial issues. According to her contents insurance is very important for you if you want to avoid unfortunate incidents.


How to Plan For Your Future; It’s Never Too Late (or Early) to Begin

A lot of people seem to think one of two things: either they believe they are too young to worry about their future and that when the time is right they will know. Or, they think they have waited far too long and that any planning they do isn’t going to pay off.

We are here to tell you that planning for your future is something that can be done at any time. It does not matter how young you are and it does not matter how old you are. What matters is that everyone has a future. It doesn’t matter how much of it there is left because that is something that cannot be determined anyhow. Tomorrow may not be guaranteed but wouldn’t you much rather have some sort of plan to better your future than to just go by day to day without knowing what you would do in case of an emergency?

No matter where you are in your life, if you are reading this then make today that day. Today is the day that you can make a change. We want to help make sure that your future is bright and that it’s something you can look forward to, never dread. Even if the unspeakable were to happen, you are going to be okay and that’s because you are going to have the proper tools to get yourself by.

Keep in mind, these are just the basics. There are a large number of things you can do to save money and prepare for all sorts of things. Today we are focusing on some of the easiest and most simple ways to plan for your future. As always, be sure to mention any tips or tricks you have learned along the way because our members would be happy to hear them and you never know, we might just learn a thing or two from you as well.

Make a List                                                                                                                                          

The first thing you want to do when planning for your future is make a list. When you begin, you do not want to worry about the minor details. Don’t take time right now to think about the ‘how’ but just write anything that comes to your mind down. Maybe you want to save more money or get a house, finish school; whatever the case may be. Write these things down without any limitations. You can always go back and change things later. This list is something you should have the rest of your life. It is going to be something that you add to, make changes to and remove items from as you feel it’s necessary. So, what you put on there today may not necessarily be what you are focusing on tomorrow but every bit counts because something you come up with today may inspire you in a much greater way later on down the road.

Figure Out What Your Strengths and Weaknesses Are

Knowing your strengths is important because it helps you to find the jobs that fit your personality and the things you enjoy most in life. What many people don’t realize is that you also want to know your weaknesses, and know them well. You see, these may be things that can help you in the long run. If you are slow at typing for example, you may not want to have a desk job but this may mean you can write fast so you could be really good at other jobs. Try not to think of weaknesses as things that hinder you because they are truly going to help you. What can hinder you is not knowing what your weaknesses are.

Check In Regularly

Remember that list we told you to make? This is going to be like your own personal Bible. This is the list that you should be reading every single day (if it’s very long, you can break it down into short term and long term so you aren’t reading everything all the time). This is going to keep you focused on the tasks at hand and remind you of what your motivators are. Maybe you want that new car or you want to get out of debt. By keeping these things in the front of your consciousness, you are going to be much more likely to work harder and find ways to get the job done quicker than you may even realize.

Save a Percentage of What You Earn

This is probably one of the hardest things to do, but it is pretty simple if you have your job already doing it for you. Take a percentage of every paycheck and put it in a savings account. While 25% sounds like a large chunk, if this is something you can afford; you are going to be glad you did later on. Just completely forget about it. Sound hard? If the money already comes out of your paycheck anyway, you probably aren’t going to remember at all. Doing it on your own can be tough though so be cautious of that. It can be very easy to get caught in the “I need” trap and spend money that you shouldn’t be.

Talk of Your Future as If It’s Already Set in Stone

A lot can be said about positive energy. It has been proven that those who are sick can get better by believing they will. Your brain is powerful. You want something bad enough then keep telling yourself it is going to happen. Talk about your future as if it has already arrived. Picture yourself driving that new car or in that new relationship. As crazy as it may sound, the more you practice this, the easier it gets. It truly does work. Talk about “when” you have that new home, not “if”. Your words have a drastic affect on the outcome of your life.

Focus on Your Health to Live a Long and Healthy Life

Of course, you could have everything you ever wanted but it wouldn’t really mean much if you weren’t healthy enough to enjoy it. Instead of putting money and working above everything else; remember to take care of yourself. Eat the best you can and work out any chance you get. A healthy body means a healthy mind and a longer life means you are going to have more time to enjoy the great things that you have accomplished and will accomplish in the future.

Don’t Give Up No Matter What Happens

We don’t care if it seems like the sky is falling. There is never reason to give up. Look at all the stories that you see on the web or on the news about people who literally were told they had only a month to live and they are still alive and doing well 10 years down the road. You want to know the difference between them and those who lost everything? They didn’t give up. Like we mentioned above, our minds are amazing things. They can do much more than we even realize. Keep your goals in mind and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you cannot reach them. Use what others say as fuel to the fire.

Reward Yourself for the Small Accomplishments

One mistake many people make when trying to plan for the future is spending too much time there. Instead of focusing on what you want all the time, take a moment to look around and enjoy what you already have. This is also the case when it comes to the goals you are setting for yourself. While long term goals are fantastic and a necessary part of change and growth, they are not the only types of goals you should be spending energy on. Make sure you take the time to enjoy the little goals because we are creatures that desire quick results. So, allow yourself that luxury. Tell yourself you are going to wake up early for an entire week. Goals like this are going to send you into instant success and that is going to keep you motivated because accomplishing a goal feels good so reward yourself and don’t get too stuck in the future. Live in today!

Things You Should Avoid Doing While Planning Ahead

A few things we wanted to warn you of are overestimating and expecting change without action. As we touches on a bit earlier, so many of us naturally expect results quickly. This is why we said small goals are important to keeping you on track. Not only do many of us tend to set goals that are too high, making us feel as though we have failed when we reached them but many people also do not realize how much work we are going to have to put in, in order for our lives to change. Change cannot happen if you keep doing things the same. If you want a different life, you have to do things you’ve never done before.

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Laura Roberts is a financial advisor and works as a freelancer. She has a lot of information regarding Lost Super which may be of help to you.


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