Do. Or do not. There is no try.
This seems to be a truism in life. If you want to do something, do it. If not, don't. But don't fool yourself by talking about how you want to do something all the time and never get round to doing it.
It is particularly common with personal finance because everything seems so confusing.
There is also a 'lack of deadlines' problem, which leads to the following train of events:
- Start thinking about personal finance (after reading something or talking to someone).
- Decide to deal with it 'later'.
- Repeat six months later.
Of course, we all do this to some extent. I have some paperwork in my bag right now that I should have dealt with a week ago.
Money is important though, and getting the money aspects of your life sorted out will free up time and mental energy to do other things.
The best way to get 'good' at personal finance is to try to improve. You will make mistakes. You will get confused. You will spend time on things that don't work out. But you will get better.
If you want to get better with money, try one of the following. They probably work best in order, but you can also pick one that appeals to you and start there before doing more later. Success, even a small success, will help you build momentum.
- Figure out what you spend money on by tracking your spending.
- Optimise your spending.
- Save up a few months' living expenses in an emergency fund.
- Open an iDeCo account and set up your monthly contributions.
- Open a NISA account and start investing.
- Plan for the future.
RetireJapan literally exists to help people learn about this stuff, so take a look through the site or the blog archive for more information. We also have coaching for people who would like more individual attention.
If you've already done all of this, try to help other people. You could send them this blog post, for instance ;)
Anything to add? What do you find difficult? Any success stories?