They say that one of the most frequently discussed topics amongst the Dutch is the weather, and having lived in the Netherlands for almost a year now I can fully understand why – the weather here is very unpredictable. It can be freezing in the morning, hot by lunchtime, rain in the afternoon, followed by an hour of sun then some wind. Despite how much I love my runs, this instability has had some major effects on my motivation to leave the house – very few people enjoy getting caught in the rain mid-way through a run and I am certainly not one of these people.
Motivation is that little voice inside of our head that pushes us to do something that will get us closer to reaching a goal. Motivation is the drive behind goal-oriented behaviour, and we need it in every area of our life. We need motivation to help us exercise, eat healthy, study, work hard, and of course, to save money.
Saving money might require us to give up spending some money on things we want now. It is very easy to lose focus when doing this – spending money on things now gives us instant gratification. As I explained in a previous article, instant gratification is the need to experience something good now without having to wait for it. You may have received advice to put some money aside each month. It is not uncommon to be reluctant to do so, especially when we are still relatively young, mainly because we do not understand the importance of saving. Dale Carnegie explains in his book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ how a safety coordinator for an engineering company convinced its employees to wear their safety hats – he simply explained to them the reason for the safety hat and how it contributes to their wellbeing and safety on the job. That is, why it is important for them. Understanding the rationale behind an action is pivotal to staying motivated and the first step toward goal-oriented behaviour. So why save money?
Saving money is the foundation block upon which wealth and future financial security are built. Investment assets give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are able to afford unexpected expenses and emergencies whilst providing you with the opportunity to enjoy a better future and quality life. Financial security and a better financial future will mean something different to everyone, and therefore it is important to sit down and think about what this means to you. This will initiate the process of setting goals for your future and begin to motivate that goal-oriented behaviour that is going to take to there.
There are many benefits to setting financial goals. These include the ability to create an action plan for your future, provision of a means to measure your progress as time goes by, understanding what your priorities are, improved sense of motivation and commitment, increased possibility of positive outcomes and reaching your goals, improved money mindset, and perhaps most importantly, improved hope and confidence for your financial stability in your future.
Our two cents: Start thinking about your financial goals and motivate yourself to start saving. You can never be too young, or too old, to start saving. If you are unsure where to start from or what to do with your savings, speak to us at Black Swan Capital. We can help guide you toward defining and reaching your goals.