What you do with your money is important; the things you don’t do are sometimes even more important.
I’m going to let you in on a secret – you’ll likely never have enough money to accomplish everything you want – you’ll have to make choices. Your hard-earned money is relatively scarce. Deciding not to do something can be pivotal for your financial future.
You make decisions to take one road to work and not another; you choose to have lunch at one place rather than the restaurant across the street. Every aspect of your life involves choosing to do something along with choosing not to do something else.
Your financial life is a tapestry of both affirmative and negative decisions about money. Your neighbor mentions a hot stock that she invested in and you make a choice to invest or not to invest in the stock; your 401-k at work has several new options and you have to decide what to do and what not to do.
WHY “NO” IS SOMETIMES THE RIGHT DECISION
Focusing on how to improve your money life and make faster progress toward your long-term goals doesn’t always involve doing things – sometimes it’s the opposite.
You often don’t remember the decisions not to do something and therefore tend to undervalue the times where not doing something was the right decision. Ultimately, you just want to know if you’ll be okay if you do nothing.
Decisions about what not to do with your money can be a major contributor to your financial life – not doing something might help you avoid a big mistake. Big mistakes can wreck your financial life.
HOW FINANCIAL PLANNING HELPS
There are times to take risks within your life and times not to take risks. Financial planning helps you avoid making decisions in a vacuum. The financial planning process creates guardrails for your money choices – this allows you to quickly decide what warrants serious consideration. The ability to say no is a big part of keeping your financial house in order, particularly when there is a mismatch between resources and goals.
What matters most to you should form the rock-hard center for all your money decisions. The financial planning strategy you follow needs to be particular to you and your circumstances.
Many of the money choices that clamor for your attention are edgy, thrilling, or new. Building your financial future, however, doesn’t depend upon thrilling investments – it depends more on good investments that you can stick with over time. Better long-term outcomes often accrue from not making thrilling investments.
Always remember what you are investing for – who you’re investing for. That should be your default position for all your money decisions. Start there. Ready for a real conversation?