One second from now is a place we have never been. The future could bring tragedy or happiness. We don’t tend to think about the future very much especially with all the distractions we have in modern society. It’s time to change that though. You can control your future to some degree if you start making changes in the present.
Looking back on my life, I wish I had thought more about the future when I was younger. Most of the time I spent from birth to age 20 was spent wandering aimlessly through the days without much planning for how I actually wanted things to turn out. Sure, I had ideas of how I wanted things to be in the future, but I didn’t put much thought into how I would bring those ideas to reality.
Here are ten things that will hurt your financial future if you don’t do them.
1. Not having a plan
You need to have a plan for your future. Having a plan will give you something to work towards and could give you a better sense of purpose. If you meet someone who has a plan for their life, they’re going to be focused and driven to get things done. Think about where you want to end up financially and what it will take to get there.
If you don’t have a financial plan, now is the time to make one. Start tracking your spending and look for areas where you can cut back. Having a budget has been one of the most useful things for my finances.
2. Being stuck in the past
It’s good to reflect on things every now and then but you shouldn’t dwell too long in the past. It’s a dangerous place to stay and you can’t change it anyways. It’s time to let go of any resentment. Forgiving yourself for your past mistakes will free your mind to make the present and future a better place.
Keep your past mistakes in mind so you don’t repeat them but don’t let them bring you down. Everyone makes mistakes and the people that continue to get back up after they’ve been knocked down are the ones who succeed.
3. Not acting on the things you can do in the present
Stop putting things off that you could be working on today. Don’t set your goals too high that they are too far out of reach. You don’t have to complete a huge task every day. It’s the continuation of doing a lot of small things each day that will result in big gains in your life. Achieving small wins more frequently will keep you motivated to continue moving forward on whatever it is that you’re doing.
4. Spending everything you make
It seems like common sense but for a lot of people saving just a little bit of money is impossible in their eyes. Even if it’s just a dollar a day, you need to start somewhere. Developing the habit to save a portion of your earnings will bring you considerable wealth over the course of your life.
5. Not investing your money
Not investing is almost as bad as spending all your money. If you aren’t investing any of your savings, your money is just sitting there and isn’t going to grow much at all. Investing comes with some risk but the risk is necessary to see results. The stock market will bring an average of about 7% (before inflation) and that’s a lot better than the 0-2% your money will gain sitting in a savings account.
6. Spending too much in investment fees
If you are investing, you need to make sure you aren’t paying too much in investing fees. Anything above 0.25% is too much in my book. I invest in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Admiral Shares fund and the fee is 0.04%. It may seem silly to worry about 0.01% of a fee but that extra bit can seriously eat away at your investment returns over time.
7. Not investing in yourself
Becoming complacent is one of the worst things you can do for your future. We should all strive to be lifelong learners and become wiser every day. Read as many books and learn as many new skills as you can. The more competent you are, the more opportunities will open up for you. If you want a raise or promotion, you need to be developing yourself as a better worker. Being able to do more at work will skyrocket you to the top of your organization.
8. Not taking care of your health
If you aren’t taking care of your mental and physical health, your life is going to suffer from it. You need to feel good in order to make positive steps toward your goals. Being healthier will make you more attractive and attractive people are blessed with more opportunity. The better you feel, the happier you will be. You’ll live longer too so you will have more time to enjoy the future you’re working so hard to make better.
9. Not making new relationships
The people you associate with have a big impact on your life. The old cliché “It’s not what you know but who you know” is, unfortunately, true for the most part. Meeting new people who align with your goals and will be good influences could be one of the quickest ways to make progress towards your goals. There’s most likely a lot of people out there that are better than you are at the thing you’re working on. Find someone who you can ask questions and learn from and be ready to be amazed by what you learn.
10. Not starting a side hustle
The number of things you can do nowadays to make money on the side is limitless. Diversifying your income streams is important for multiple reasons. You won’t be as worried about losing your job if you have a side hustle and that will let you relax more at work. Being more relaxed will make you a better worker and could even be the thing you needed to do to get a better position. Having side income will also help you save more and cover any unexpected expenses that come up. I really need to make a post just for side hustles because there are too many perks to list here.
If you can implement these 10 things into your life, the results could be massive! Take action now and start building a better future. It certainly won’t hurt anything to give it a shot!
Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.