November was Financial Literacy Month. A reminder of the importance of investing time and effort into understanding money, investing and financial planning.
Now that we’ve hit December, we can set all of this aside and plunge into the biggest spending spree of the year. That will be followed by a barrage of advertising in January and February on putting some money into a Registered Retirement Savings Plan and/or a Tax Free Savings Account.
If we really listened and followed the tips we were told in November about personal finance, perhaps we wouldn’t go so far into debt during the Holiday Season. Then we might have some money for one or more of those tax sheltered savings plans in the New Year.
The fact of the matter is that when we live in the moment and forego delayed gratification, we are compromising our future selves. Look at all the aging Boomers fretting about their looming retirement, not having enough savings and running out of money in the years to come.
Saving money is about balance;
- balancing today’s needs with those of tomorrow;
- balancing the kind of lifestyle we want today with the kind of lifestyle we want years down the road;
- balancing how much risk we want to take financially and how much of that we want to transfer to insurance and investment companies; and
- balancing where we invest, how we invest and when we invest.
You could do your research on the internet. You could buy books at Chapters or Indigo. You could speak with your family and friends.You should do all of these things. Remember though, that learning about personal finance and committing to putting the things you learn into regular practice doesn’t work as well if you do it all on your own. This is especially true, given our busy, complicated, and sometimes overwhelming lives.
An extra hand from a specialist in personal finance, financial planning, insurance and investments can help make your job a lot easier and give you some balance in your personal financial decisions and actions. Do some research. Interview a few accredited financial planners. Pick one that can work with you and your family, and help you get the most out of your money.