For the month of November, our monthly ‘Pillar of Successful Aging’ was all about financial security!
Why is being financially secure SO important? Everything costs money and we need it to do pretty much anything! Having financial freedom, security and independence is a sure way to keep our stress levels at a minimum. It’s never too late to take control of your financial situation and it’s important to be aware of the financial position you’re currently in. Getting to a point where you feel fully financially stable may take some time and lots of practice. It also differs from one person to the next. Setting goals and boundaries for yourself when it comes to saving and spending is always a good idea, so here are some ideas on where you can start…
Knowing the difference between wants and needs. When we can recognize something as essential or not, we are able to make better choices on what we spend our money on. Although you may really want that brand new handbag or pricy pair of shoes, do you REALLY need them? Stop to think about if this is something you need or just really want. Often, we get caught up in the latest fad and since everyone else has the updated new and shiny things, we want it too. Next month, it will be something else that’s newer and shinier that everyone will want. Be mindful of the difference.
It’s good to know where our money is ACTUALLY going because as we all know, it’s way too easy to overspend and then be left wondering where all our money went. Budgeting is an awesome tool to keep track of what we spend our money on. Start by documenting everything you spend your money on in a month and you’ll be able to see your spending patterns on paper. It might surprise you how quickly a $4 coffee every day adds up. From there, you will be able to make certain adjustments that align with your goals. Yes, money is meant to be spent. And yes, it comes and goes. However, it’s important to take a portion of what’s coming in and save it for yourself. Pay yourself first, lock it up, and save it for later.
Lastly, consider talking to a trusted family member or financial advisor about your financial position. If you haven’t already, think about creating a savings or investment plan. No matter your age, having some type of long-term and the short-term plan is always a good idea. This can ensure that we are able to afford ALL of our needs AND wants. Knowing just how much you save and spend will tell you how much flexibility you may have now and in the future. This is something a professional can help you to calculate and understand. The last thing we want is to believe we have a certain amount of money and then find out the hard way, we don’t! Take some of the weight off your own shoulders and leave it up to the professionals.
Being financially secure is an essential component to live comfortably and freely. It’s never too early or too late to start thinking about how we make better financial decisions and choices for our future selves.