If there’s one thing you don’t want in life, it’s regrets — especially when it comes to financial decisions. There are some fail-proof money moves where the outcome will always be in your favor, particularly over the long run.
Here are four smart, no-regret money strategies.
- Pay yourself first. Transfer a fixed amount from each paycheck to a savings or investment account. “This will, over time, help you build a nice retirement nest egg or save to buy a house,” says Robert Kleinman, a certified financial planner with Kleinman Financial Services in Port Washington.
- Don’t try to time the market. The best way to build wealth is to buy and hold, investing a specific amount of money regularly. “Studies show that individual investors dramatically underperform the market averages because they buy high and sell low because of their behavioral biases,” says Robert Johnson, president and CEO of The American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
- Live beneath your means. “Create a budget and stick to it,” says Larissa Flom, trust officer at Beacon Trust in Morristown, New Jersey. Buy less house and car than you can afford. This frees up money for essential savings, like an emergency fund to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses.
- Save for retirement with your first job. Fully funding an IRA or taking advantage of an employer match in a 40lk is a sure-fire winner. Don’t wait until your 30s or 40s to get going. Says Johnson, “You simply can’t make up for lost time if you wait to start saving.”