Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Money Crashers: 7 Best Financial Decisions

Here is the third and final article in my series about the Claris survey on financial regrets. The last one focused on what people, in hindsight, consider to be their worst financial decisions; this one is about the flip side of that, the decisions that people were happiest about.

Like the last article, this one has some advice that's mainly useful for younger folks. For instance, the #1 decision people were satisfied with was going to college, and while it's certainly possible to go back and earn your degree in middle age, the vast majority of people make this choice in their teens. So info about the pros and cons of getting a college degree, and how to get the best value for your education dollar, are probably a bit less useful for adult readers. (On the other hand, I guess for some people it could be useful for figuring out how much they should be willing to finance their kids' education, either now or down the road.)

Other decisions in the article, however, can be made at pretty much any age. These include:
  • Buying a home. If you're already a homeowner, it's too late to decide not to buy, but if you're still weighing the decision, the article has a lot to say about the pluses and minuses.
  • Living below your means. Even if you haven't done this in the past, it's never too late to start.
  • Dealing sensibly with debt. If you have no debts now, this article has some sound advice on which kinds of debt are most likely to help you, and which are most likely to hurt. And if you already owe money, it offers some suggestions about how to pay it off quickly.
  • Investing. If you've never invested before, this article can help you get started; if you're investing already, it can help you squeeze a little more value out of your investment dollar.
  • Having a traditional career. If you're thinking of starting your own business, this article covers the risks of doing it, as well as the possible benefits. It outlines how to decide if this move is for you, and how to minimize the risks if you choose to take the plunge.
  • Travel. I'm not a big fan of travel myself, but many survey respondents said "taking that trip of a lifetime" was the best decision they'd ever made, and who am I to contradict them? So if this is a goal for you as well, the article offers some tips on how to enjoy that once-in-a-lifetime trip without sacrificing your financial future.
Get all the details here: 7 Best Financial Decisions Young People Can Make to Get Ahead
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