In your life, you will have all sorts of relationships – with your family, your friends, your co-workers, and even with civic groups and charitable organizations you support. But have you ever considered another key relationship – the one you have with money?
Of course, this type of relationship has several aspects, such as saving, spending and investing. And your fellow Canadians clearly face some challenges in these areas. For example, in a recent survey conducted by the financial services firm, Edward Jones. Almost 80% of Gen Xers have financial concerns that keep them up at night. Thirty-three percent of Canadians cited that they don’t invest their money at all and in general Canadians are waiting too long to being saving for retirement – only 31.3% of Canadians aged 18-34 invest in an RRSP.
Do you share some of these concerns? Here are a few suggestions:
- Identify your money-related emotions. Try to recognize the emotions you feel in connection with saving and investing. Do you get nervous about spending? Does putting away money for the future give you satisfaction or not? Do you worry that you don’t know how much you should be investing, or whether you’re investing in the right way? Clearly, these type of questions can cause some anxiety – and, even more importantly, they may lead you to make poor decisions. Emotions are obviously closely tied to money – but they really should not play a big role in your spending, saving and investing choices.
- Develop a financial strategy. By developing a sound financial strategy, you can reduce money-related stress and help yourself feel empowered as you look into the future. A comprehensive strategy can help you identify your goals – a down payment on a new home, college for your children, a comfortable retirement, and so on – and identify a path toward reaching them. Your financial strategy should incorporate a variety of factors, including your age, risk tolerance, income level, family situation and more. Here is the key point: By creating a long-term strategy and sticking to it, you will be far less likely to overreact to events such as market downturns and less inclined to give in to impulsive and expensive – purchases. And without such a strategy, you will almost certainly have less chance of achieving your important goals.
- Get an “accountability partner.” Your relationship with money doesn’t have to be monogamous – you can get help from an “accountability partner.” Too many people keep their financial concerns and plans to themselves, not even sharing them with their partners or other family members. But by being open about your finances to your loved ones, you can not only avoid misplaced expectations but also enlist the help of someone who may be able to help keep you on track toward your short and long-term goals. But you may also benefit from the help of a financial professional – someone with the perspective, experience and skills necessary to help you make the right moves.
Like all successful relationships, the one you have with money requires work. But you will find it’s worth the effort.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Nicolle Lalonde.