July 24, 2024

Jane Young: Some farewell thoughts on navigating personal finances | Business

It is hard to believe that Linda Leitz and I have been writing this column for close to 12 years. It has been a tremendous honor to share personal finance information with you over this time.

I am incredibly grateful to the Colorado Springs Gazette and my amazing editors for giving me this opportunity. I have enjoyed writing the column and appreciate all the feedback I have received from you, my readers. I have learned so much over the years.

However, I have reached a point in my practice where I need to focus more time on providing excellent service to my clients.

This will be my last article, but most of my articles are available on my website at www.morethanyourmoney.com. I plan to continue doing some writing and speaking, but I no longer can devote the time to a regular column.

I have written countless articles on the technical aspects of personal finance, but I would like to end by highlighting some broader concepts and behaviors that I hope you will keep in mind as you navigate through your personal finances.

Below are some behaviors and habits that will help you achieve and maintain financial success:

• Live below your means: This is the single most important behavior to follow to achieve financial success. It is essential to create a plan to spend less than you earn so you can save and invest for the future. Ideally, you should save and invest 15% of your income.

• Practice gratitude: Gratitude improves your attitude, enabling you to maintain a positive mindset. A positive mindset results in reduced stress, better sleep, improved focus and increased emotional resiliency. Gratitude can transform your financial life. When you appreciate what you have, you can approach finances with greater confidence and less emotion. You are more likely to make financial decisions that align with your values and goals.

• Long-term perspective: Maintaining a long-term perspective is essential to effectively managing your portfolio. Create and stick to a plan that supports your long-term goals. A long-term perspective can help you avoid emotional reactions to short-term market fluctuations and the temptation to time the market. It can also help you save more for the future by understanding the importance of delayed gratification.

• Invest in yourself: Successful people are constantly learning. You do not need to be an expert, but a general understanding of personal finance will help you stick to your plan and avoid emotional decisions. A greater understanding of finance can also reduce anxiety and lead to greater patience during times of market turmoil.

Investing time to stay healthy also contributes to greater financial success. Good mental and physical health leads to a positive attitude, improved relationships and more enthusiasm to set and meet financial goals.

Jane Young is a business columnist and a fee-only, certified financial planner. She can be reached at jane@morethanyourmoney.com.

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