Congratulations!! You’ve made it to the last day of the 31 Day Challenge to Financial Excellence! Some days might have been easier and others more difficult, but you held on and continued until the end. That’s a good sign as it not only means that you’ve probably made some huge progress in many of your financial areas, it also indicates that you are much more likely to appreciate the progress you’ve made and to keep up giving financial planning a prominent place in your life.
Whether you have children on your own, grandchildren or (adopted) nieces and nephews or plan to have children at some point in the future, you can play an important role in educating these children financially, especially taking into consideration how little most schools incorporate personal finance into their curriculum.
Save money for your children
The first thing to do, is to set aside some money in a savings or investment account (again it doesn’t matter how much or little) so you can start growing some money for your children. Not only will this once they are a little older give you a great topic to discuss with them to show them the power of compound interest, it also makes for a great 18th, 21st or wedding gift. Continue reading “Day 30 / 31 Your Children & Finances”→
I think we all appreciate that we “should” give to charity and help improve the lives of others and make this world a better place.
Giving to charity does not have to cost you hundreds of dollars a year. It is just like saving money: start with it early, even if you can only contribute $1 a month, or $10 a year. Not only is that still $10 a year, it also gets you into the habit of giving, so that every time you have a little more money available, it will be easy to also increase that contribution, even if it is by just a small amount, to make space for it in your budget and to remember that there are so many who are less fortunate than you and to whom your (however small) contribution can make a considerable difference.Continue reading “Day 29 / 31 Give to Charity”→
During the past few weeks and in the next weeks, months and indeed years, you hopefully will have and will continue to set new financial goals. Setting goals is one thing, but achieving them is a whole different matter. Goals are usually easy to set and difficult to achieve and require real commitment and dedication. As you continue on your journey to financial excellence, your goals might become bigger and more abstract which in turn makes it more difficult to see your daily efforts paying off.
You can make goals more tangible by not focussing on the end goal but on smaller milestones along the way, making it easier to see progress.. Then – and here is the most important part – you should celebrate your victories. Once you have got together half, a quarter or even just 10% of your $10,000 savings goal – celebrate. Continue reading “Day 28 / 31 Celebrate your Victories”→
Now that you have almost got to the end stage of the 31 Day Challenge to financial excellence and have hopefully made huge progress on various areas of your financial life, one of the worst things is to have your finances all in order and then not being able to find important financial documents when you need them, such as insurance policies, warranties, bank statements or income stubs for your tax return.
Having a proper, up-to-date and easy to understand filing system, does not only guarantee less stress and time lost when you are looking for things, it also ensures you do not waste money for example on a new product if your old one still has a guarantee on it. It allows you to quickly check you still have the right insurance, update your assets, debts and cash flow and makes is easy to check your credit card statements are all correct.Continue reading “Day 27 / 31 Organize your Administration”→
Today’s challenge may not be the most cheerful of the ones to busy yourself with, but estate planning should be high up on your priority list of financial planning, no matter how old or young you are.
Estate planning is about taking the necessary steps now to arrange for what will happen to your inheritance for when you pass away as well as making arrangements for who is to make key decisions in case you no longer can.
Risk management and insurance is an important part of financial planning, although surprisingly often overlooked. Many feel insurance is boring, complicated or not needed and years of careful financial planning amounts to nothing if a small oversight on your side leads to a financial disaster for you or your family.
Choosing which types of insurance you need, which ones you do not and making sure that the ones you have are still up-to-date and applicable to your current situation can be a bit of challenge though, which is exactly why it is our challenge for today!
Before moving on to the next financial area, let’s finish off with three key investing concepts.
Bull & Bear Markets
We speak of a bull market when share prices go up over a period of time, leading to more market activity and people wanting to buy more, thereby driving up the prices further. The opposite of a bull market is a bear market, during which prices generally go down, with many investors often wanting to offload their shares to avoid any further losses. Continue reading “Day 24 / 31 Investing Concepts”→
Now that we have covered the basics of investing and the stock market, you might still be wondering whether investing is the right move for you. This challenge starts with looking at reasons to invest, followed by some reasons to hold off investing, after which you should be able to make a more informed decision.
Why should you invest?
Let’s start with some of the main reasons that makes investing worthwhile to many.
Investing is an alternative to saving: by setting money aside people hope to grow it and with time build up a nice small capital.
Over long periods of time, the stock market generally goes up. Even if there is the occasional crash when stock prices go down, if you have the time and the patience to sit it out and wait, the market will recover again.
On average the markets go up by somewhere between 7-10% yearly. That is more than most yearly inflation rates;
The market average is also normally higher than interest rates offered on saving accounts;
Another fun advantage of investing: many people like to track their shares and see how they are doing with their investments.