“Consistency is Attractive”
It could be easy this week to opine on all of the fluctuations we have seen in the stock market since the beginning of the year and address inflation, interest rates, and federal reserve decisions to add just one more voice to the cacophony we’ve been inundated with. Instead, I thought it might be helpful to revisit the idea of consistency and why it is so critical in your financial plan. This post is one of ours from 2019 but still so relevant today. I encourage all of you to remain consistent and keep your long-term goals in sight when the market and media beg us to focus on the short-term fluctuations.
In the age of social media, it’s so easy to get caught up in what the latest trends are and then jump around to ensure your life is oriented towards those trends. Older generations can claim that it is a “millennial” issue but keeping up with the Joneses has been around for decades (if not centuries), it’s just more easily accessible these days. The truth is, whether we are talking about relationships, jobs, or our finances, the idea of consistency may seem boring but is extremely attractive in the long run. If it’s relationships, maybe consistency is continuing to show up and be available for conversations of friends and loved ones. For work, maybe consistency looks like showing up on time every day, doing your job diligently, and bringing laughter into your workplace. For finances, consistency can be many different things, but we will explore a few of them this week.
We’ve all heard it – “If you save XX amount of dollars each month for the next 40 years you will be a bazillionaire” (technical term). It’s fun to know how much money consistent savings could provide for your future, but it isn’t easy to put it into practice month in and month out. The people that tend to do this the best are those who have figured out how to automate their savings through direct debits on their accounts. If savings are not automated, then missing a couple months out of the year is very likely and can have large long term affects. Example: Someone saving $500 per month at a 7% return for 30 years would have just over $600,000. If that same person missed saving that $500 per month for 2 months each year (just from lack of focus), the end result is just over $500,000 or a $100,000 difference!
Saving motivates some and is extremely boring to others. That is why it’s important to find ways to make your money work for others. Maybe it’s a random act of kindness to pay for the person behind you in the drive thru, or maybe it’s donating to a cause that you are passionate about but finding ways to help others with your money is very rewarding. Plus, setting up your charitable giving in the right way can have tax benefits as well!
Admittedly, this is not one that comes naturally to me. However, on each of our financial journey’s it’s important to take a step back every once in awhile and celebrate little successes along the way. Just like a food diet might encourage a “cheat meal” every now and then, it’s important to celebrate with our finances too. These celebrations don’t always have to be huge amounts of money either. Find something that is fun for you and build it into your financial journey on a consistent basis!
Consistency is one of our 3 pillars at Van Gelder Financial. It’s now more critical than ever to ensure you remain consistent and calm in the face of new information. If you, or someone you know, is looking to gain control and consistency with their finances, then reach out and speak with one of our advisors today!