3 Financial Lessons That Stand the Test of Time

Financial fortunes rise and fall, presenting various challenges for individuals managing money. From immediate spending concerns to long range projections, earnings and expenses are juggled to make ends meet. In addition to your own actions, general economic conditions and global monetary outcomes help shape your financial approach. But while evolving financial trends may influence the best course of action, an underlying set of principles provides bedrock for financial stability. For a financial foundation you can build on, embrace the following financial lessons that stand the test of time.

Invest Early and Often

Most money managers are tuned-in to the importance of personal savings and investments, but this essential piece of financial security is often overlooked, placed on the back burner for attention at a later date. Unfortunately, each day you wait to start building reserves represents one less day for your money to grow.

Putting your money to work as early in life as possible gives you the best chance of making the most of your savings and investments. Not only does the money have time to appreciate, but investing at a young age also protects you from erratic movements within financial markets. A major economic downturn, for instance, leaves investors vulnerable to losses. But if your investments are held for a longer period of time, the money has time to recover, following a dip. The same philosophy applies to your ongoing approach, which should include regular investment, regardless of what financial markets are doing. Much like investing early, making frequent additions to your savings and investment portfolio helps reduce your exposure to financial ups and downs, leaving you with better long-term returns.

Don’t Spend Money You Don’t Have

This tip almost sounds like a contradiction. If you don’t have money, how can you spend it? Credit cards are the most common answer to this question, leaving many Britons with cumbersome high interest balances. Even bad credit applicants have access to borrowing options with reasonable rates of interest, so running up credit card debt can be avoided.

A rainy day fund can help you manage money when unexpected expenses arise, preventing card balances from growing beyond affordability. And if you consistently run into problems with cash flow, sticking to a well-outlined personal budget may be the best way to keep you living within your means. When outside help is needed, it makes sense to explore loans and alternative funding sources, before turning to high-interest credit cards. The key to financial stability is staying solvent and keeping spending and debt obligations within your ability to pay.

Get Help Seeking Financial Answers

Financial savvy grows over time, but even seasoned personal money managers face unfamiliar financial circumstances. When questions come up or financial conditions change, you may need outside help finding the answers you need. House buyers, for instance, may have general awareness and competency with mortgage financing, but consulting with a professional furnishes further insight into particular aspects of this form of funding. Similarly, understanding pensions and investment topics isn’t always straightforward, so experts illuminate the subject for those willing to ask.

In the UK, services offered by The Money Charity and other organizations empower citizens, promoting the knowledge and understanding required to make prudent financial decisions. Groups like Money Advice Trust extend debt counseling and other assistance to individuals, but they also train people working in financial industries to better help clients and customers. The free instruction supports a healthier overall economy, by sharing valuable lessons, and it takes the mystery out of financial matters for countless residents, equipping them to tackle complex financial affairs as well as everyday monetary concerns. Thoughts at the Trust, the organization’s blog, regularly publishes helpful instalments, covering topics ranging from government policy to personal financial discipline.

Although financial success hinges on wide-ranging factors, committing to a core set of foundational principles gives you the best chance of controlling your own financial destiny. Investing early in life, seeking financial help when it’s needed, and living within your means are three financial building blocks that stand that test of time.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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