by Julie Jaggernath
Wouldn’t it be great to roll out of bed in the morning and know exactly what the day holds in store for you? Financially speaking, wouldn’t it be great to know what the next several months or years might mean to you?
Based on past performance, groundhog predictions are right less than 40% of the time. And "chance" is only right 33% of the time.
Those odds aren't great, so while a groundhog’s shadow can’t predict our financial future, it can remind us of some valuable truths.
Don’t Outsmart the Future - Save & Set Financial Goals
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Imagine knowing that you’ll be going into hibernation with no reserves and no safe place to spend that time. Imagine what retirement would be without enough income and so many debt payments that you’re forced to sell your home just to make ends meet.
Saving for the future is storing up one small reserve after another. Each deposit to your savings account is one step closer to ensuring that you have what you need when you need it.
Keep Your Money Safe from Yourself - Avoid Impulse Spending
Being a small animal, groundhogs have many enemies. Financially speaking, your money has enemies – the biggest of which is you! Implement strategies to keep your money safe from yourself. Try making your savings account inaccessible on your debit card, or lower the limit on your debit and credit cards.
And speaking of credit cards, if you really think that you only use your credit card for emergencies or planned expenses, stay true to your resolve and don’t carry it in your wallet unless you’re traveling out of town.
Out of Sight; Out of Mind - Make Saving Automatic
It’s okay for a groundhog to stick his head in the sand because he’s just heading down into his burrow. Many people try this strategy when they try to deal with debt, and it only makes life harder. With debt, the longer you avoid it, the worse it gets.
However, there is a time to use this strategy and it is on payday. Automatic payments and transfers on payday keep your money safely out of sight so that you don’t spend it on things you hadn’t planned on buying. Use a realistic budget to help you decide how much to spend and save.
Remember to Think About Financial Goals to Save and Plan
The next time you see your own shadow, use it as a reminder to think about your financial goals. Focus on how to manage your spending plan better and what you can do to save. Whether you’ve got a long time or a short time, you’ve still got time and it’s never too late to start!