If you’re like most people, saving and investing can be overwhelming. There are so many different options and decisions to make, it can seem easier to worry about it tomorrow and enjoy your extra hot grande caramel macchiato in peace, right? However, if you want to enjoy that macchiato 30 years from now, you want to keep reading!
First, take a deep breath. Saving is not nearly as scary as that spider lurking in your garage. According to Shaun Ludwar, Investment Advisor at Prospera Credit Union, it’s easy to get started. “The most important question to ask yourself is what you’re saving for,” says Ludwar. “Whether it’s a new car, a trip or retirement, knowing what you’re saving for is the first step to setting your goals.”
Ludwar recommends setting SMART goals to help you develop a personalised plan. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. If this seems daunting, an advisor like Ludwar can help you set SMART goals, and then work with you on how to achieve them.
One common goal is saving for retirement, which raises a big question – how much is enough? “There’s no magic number and it all comes back to your SMART goals. When you retire, do you want to eat Kraft Dinner everyday and never leave your house or do you want to explore the world with your granddaughter?” Ludwar asks. “Everyone has a different lifestyle goal and it’s important to save for your unique goals, not someone else’s.”
What if you already know what your goals are, but you’re living paycheque to paycheque? Ludwar suggests starting with everyone’s favourite word… budgeting. It may seem time consuming, overwhelming, or like something your grandparents did, but it’s quite simple once you get started. Knowing how much money is coming in versus how much is going out can be a real eye-opener. It can help clarify your basic needs and make sure they are met, while uncovering ways to tuck money aside each month.
You don’t need to figure it all out on your own, either. Financial Planners like Ludwar have the expertise to help you develop goals and set a plan to achieve them. Think of it like having someone in your corner every step of the way to help you reach your financial dreams.
Speak with a Prospera advisor today to keep enjoying that macchiato!
A credit union serving British Columbia for 75 years, Prospera is proud to serve its 63,000 members from locations in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Okanagan.