There’s no shortage of information online about personal finance.
Ultimately if you follow the ‘spend less than you earn’ mantra you’re heading in the right direction, but the fact that you’re reading this now shows me you’re looking for something more to help you on your way:
Maybe you’re interested in some hidden ‘money hack’ or investment tip. Perhaps looking for the best home insurance deal or you’re in need of some fast money with a payday advance.
Whilst the pursuit of the best money information can be a worthy goal, it can also be a huge time sink and can stop you from making progress today.
- It’s more important to open any savings account, than to delay and look for an account with the best interest rate. You don’t save cash for a return. You save cash to give you options and security if you were to lose your income.
- It’s more important to start putting some money away in a simple index unit trust, than it is to try to read all the investment prospectuses and sales letters of the best performing mutual funds. Keep investment costs low and invest automatically each month. The mental shift that occurs when you’re putting money away for 20+ years down the line is more important than the investment return in the early days.
- It’s more important to find your reasons to grow your pennies for the future, than it is to just follow the advice of me or anyone else.
Our energy and motivation is limited. It’s exhausting trying to stay on ‘best behaviour’ with our money. Instead, find a money ‘system’ that works for you without any ongoing effort, and something that is meaningful to you. Perhaps you’ll decide to save 20% of your income so you can spend the rest guilt-free on extravagant toys or holidays. Or you decide to take the time to work out what you’re spending your money on mindlessly every month and reallocate any cut costs to something that will move you nearer to the life you want –like putting it towards a house deposit or your student loans.
Information isn’t always the answer
Of course spending your time online looking for useful information can be useful, whether you’re looking for online payday loans, cheaper car insurance or the best savings account. But don’t be distracted by the search for the ‘best’.
- The ‘best’ loan is the smallest one you need.
- The ‘best’ savings account is one that you commit to filling every month for a specific reason.
- And the best financial strategy is the one that works for you; that allows you to take steps towards living the life you want.
Commit to doing *something* to improve your financial life this week; maybe even experiment a bit; and, of course, ‘spend less than you earn’. 🙂
Share in the comments what you’ve done recently to grow your pennies!