Unless you have unlimited financial resources, you’ll need to think carefully about your saving, investing and spending decisions. But does that mean you need to deny yourself some fun?
It might seem that way, given your other priorities. You may already be contributing considerable amounts to two important goals: retirement (through your 401(k) and IRA) and college for your kids (through a 529 education savings plan or another vehicle). How can you also afford to save for those fun things in life, such as a family vacation, a second honeymoon or even a new car?
Here’s the secret: Include “fun” as one of your financial goals. You’re already setting aside funds specifically for retirement, college and possibly other goals – why not add a fun activity or purchase to that list?
To do so, of course, you’ll first need to review your budget. Are there any areas you can tighten up, possibly freeing some money that could be used to save for your fun goals? And whenever your disposable income increases, such as when your salary goes up, can you put away some of this money for those goals?
You may also need to prioritize the goals that fall into the “fun” category. Would you most like to spend a month traveling the world? Or would you rather purchase that classic car you’ve wanted for years? Once you’ve identified your most important goals, you can follow strategies to achieve them.
And that means you’ll need to be specific. How much will you need for a certain goal? How long will it take you to reach this goal if you put aside a certain amount of money each month? Putting a date on when you’ll need the money can help provide the focus you’ll need to maintain a consistent savings program. Your financial advisor can help you create a strategy and review your progress over time.
Here’s the bottom line: With planning and discipline, you can continue making progress toward your retirement and education goals while also saving for the fun things in life. It will take some effort – but it’s worth it.