Planning for the future is something we’re all meant to do. If you browse the lifestyle section of any newspaper, magazine, or blog, they will all reinforce the same point: planning for the future is essential. You should do it, starting right now.
There is no doubt that planning for the future is a good idea. Using your future goals to shape your decision-making in the present is only common sense, and having an idea of how you want your life to pan out is a natural consideration. However, the reality of planning for the future isn’t quite so simple– in fact, it’s something that many people make mistakes when attempting.
If you want to plan for your future financial and life plans, then you’re going to want to avoid these common errors…
#1 – Being too restrictive
One of the major mistakes people make when planning for the future is to be far too restrictive on your current finances. It might sound like a good strategy; save hard now so you’ve some cash put aside for the future; how could that be a bad idea? However, you’ll soon find that if you restrict yourself too much today, you’re all the more likely to break your plans entirely. Be reasonable and give yourself some breathing room.
#2 – Being too lax
There’s definitely a Goldilocks “just right” strategy when it comes to planning for the future. The future is going to be expensive, for a variety of reasons; from needing to look for financial options for funeral comparison to funding your healthcare in your old age– there’s a lot to think about. So be relaxed with your current budget, but not so relaxed that you don’t really save much cash at all.
#3 – Thinking too big
It’s lovely to think that your future involves a huge, palatial house and stunning gardens; the idea of this keeps many people content with their current living situation. We all want to think we’ll one day live a life of luxury, but for many of us — sadly — this just won’t come true. When it comes to making your way up the property ladder, it’s important to plan in a realistic way.
#4 – Expecting your job to stay the same
If you are in a great job, it’s easy to think this will always be the case. However, tough as it may be to contemplate, it’s worth remembering that isn’t necessarily going to be what your future looks like too. As a result, you need to factor a contingency fund into your future plans, to ensure you are covered for unexpected career bumps.
#5 – Not looking at planning holistically
If you’re truly going to plan for the future, then you need to see your life holistically: your career aspirations, your housing aspirations, your financial requirements. If you try and slant too much towards one area, your entire plan will become unbalanced, so always try and factor in the complete picture when plotting your future goals.
By avoiding the errors above, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your plans for the future have a realistic chance of coming true. Good luck!
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.