Whether you're single, paired, or somewhere in between, Valentine's Day may present the perfect opportunity to show your bank account some love. Below are four tips and tricks to set you on the path toward becoming your own financial valentine.
Be a Goal-Getter
If it's been a while since you've set any financial goals for yourself, now may be the time. These goals don't have to be complicated or long-term. Something as simple as deciding to increase your retirement contributions by a few percent or paying off a nagging debt may help you end the year in a better financial position than you started.
Part of setting goals includes scheduling regular check-ups. Whether you plan to revisit your progress on a monthly, bimonthly, or semi-annual basis, keep a finger on your progress. It may help you make any tweaks or adjustments that may become necessary.
Just as a strict diet may lead to backsliding or binging, the forced deprivation of a too-strict budget may lead you to overspend. It's important to schedule some time (and set aside some dollars) for small treats and luxuries. This may be a dessert from your favorite bakery, a house cleaning service, or a long-awaited night out. By rewarding yourself occasionally, you may be less likely to over-correct once your budget loosens a bit.
Identify Financial Priorities
Identifying your priorities may go hand-in-hand with treating yourself to small luxuries. You may decide that a daily latte or weekly massage is well worth the cost but reject the idea of upgrading your home or vehicle to the newest and latest. In other situations, you may want to stretch your budget to afford a home in your preferred neighborhood by cutting back on other expenses. There's no right answer or one-size-fits-all solution. Identifying what's most important to you may help make tough financial decisions a bit easier.
Invest in Your Future
One of the best ways to show yourself some financial love this Valentine's Day may be by putting funds in the market. As the saying goes, "time in the market beats timing the market,"—so rather than waiting for a market dip to invest, contributing as soon as you have these funds (and then leaving them alone) may help you build wealth for your child's college education, a new home purchase, or even early retirement.1
However, there's one important caveat. Because the market may be volatile from time to time, and a bear market may last for months or even years, it's generally not a good idea to invest funds that you plan to need in the short term.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by WriterAccess.
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