It doesn’t need to be complicated. If you’re like most people, you probably constantly hear different financial tips and tricks. Whether it be on TV, the internet, or from a friend, everyone seems to have an opinion on what the “best way” is to manage your money. But with so many different strategies, how are you supposed to know which one is right for you?
Well, it depends. What works for some won’t work for others. Everyone has their own unique situation and goals, so there is no one-size-fits-all plan. However, there are a few rules that will benefit everyone. Don’t make things harder than they need to be. Get these three principles right, and your journey to financial success will be much easier.
1. Say “No, Thank You” To ATM Machines
I am a firm believer in transparency, and this extends to household expenses. When tracking your expenses, it is important to account for every dollar. Paying cash can cover up for poor spending habits. By always using your debit or credit card, you can be sure all your expenses will automatically be accounted for. Just be sure your credit card is set up for auto-pay so the balance is paid off every month. Also, it should go without saying—only spend what you’re able to pay off in full each month.
2. Ignore The BMW In Your Neighbor’s Driveway
It can be very difficult to not envy your neighbor’s possessions. However, to ensure financial success, it is important that you do so. You don’t know their financial situation and it is pointless to try to keep up. The key to eliminating the comparison trap is practicing gratitude. Make a daily habit out of mentally (or better yet, physically) listing out all your blessings. This practice will strengthen your thankfulness muscles. And pretty soon you’ll be so focused on everything you do have that you’ll stop worrying about what’s going on next door.
3. Weigh Your Options
In the words of Sam Hinkie, the former general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, “I believe in optionality.” He was talking draft picks; I’m talking financial plans. For example, if there is a minimal difference between the rate of a 30-year and a 15-year mortgage, elect the 30-year option. You can always put more against the principal to reduce the length of the loan, but by saving the difference, you have provided yourself with more options for future events. Whenever you make a financial decision, think carefully about all opportunity costs involved, and choose whichever option makes the most sense for you.
Above all, make sure to always consider from whom you’re getting your information. Would you take medical advice from your mechanic? Exercise advice from your barista? Plumbing advice from your dentist? I don’t think so. You’d seek out an expert in each given field. It’s the same when it comes to your finances. Everyone has advice; just make sure the advice you choose to follow comes from a trustworthy and expert source. That being said, if you’re looking for someone you can count on to create a personalized plan to reach your financial goals, let Newbridge Wealth Management help! Email us at email@example.com or call 610.727.3960 to schedule a meeting.
Vincent R. Barbera, CFP®, MSFS is a managing partner and co-founder of Newbridge Wealth Management, a private financial counseling firm located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Believing in a patient, disciplined approach to investment management that delivers value and peace of mind, he utilizes a process-driven approach to financial planning that provides comfort and clarity to his clients’ long-term goals. Along with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business, he has a master’s degree in business and financial planning and Certified Financial Planner™ designation. Learn more by connecting with Vincent on LinkedIn, or send him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.