While I’m sure The Everyday Advisor is your favvvvorite finance blog on the internet, there are hundreds of others. There are Instagram famous finance “experts,” financial advisors on every street corner, and friends who think they have all of the answers because they read two articles on cryptocurrency.
Not only do you have to decide which voices to listen to, you have to figure out how to apply their advice to your own personal financial life.
You might find yourself laboring over decisions. Questions like, who do I buy my life insurance from? How much should I be saving in my 401(k)? How should I start saving for my kids’ college expenses?
So, you research. You read article after article…ask friend after friend. You hear a dozen different opinions. You get stressed and tell yourself that you simply don’t have time to do further research, so you will just “let the issue rest for a while.” AKA…… you do NOTHING.
However, the real reason for your lack of action wasn’t because you were busy. It was because you were scared of making the wrong decision! In your mind, making no decision was better than making a wrong decision.
Sometimes it is true that you don’t want to rush a decision, but often, doing something is better than doing nothing.
So, let me answer those questions for you through the lens of acting over freezing:
1. Who do you buy life insurance from? IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER!
If you’re going for a simple term policy (which makes a lot of sense in a lot of situations), you can buy one from most any big-name insurance provider. The premiums or customer service aren’t going to be notably different on comparable policies.
2. How much should you be saving in your 401(k)? SOMETHING.
Just don’t save nothing. My rule of thumb is to aim for 15% of your income (including your employer match). Again, start at anything. Start at 5%… 10%… whatever. You can always change it later when you finally get around to talking to your finance professional (which you do need to do). Something is better than nothing to start with though.
3. How should you start saving for your kids’ college? ANYWHERE.
This question trips people up a lot. They don’t know if they want to open up a 529, UTMA, savings account, or broker account so they just don’t. do. anything. Sure… they all have their own advantages and disadvantages, but ALL of them are better than nothing. If one of your goals is to help your child pay for college, NONE of them are a “wrong” decision.
I want to encourage you that there is no perfect financial decision. You could spend hours researching and gathering advice from professionals before making a decision, then one small change in your life could completely change it. The goal is to make a better financial life for yourself… don’t fret over perfection.
Oh – by the way, I have written articles on all of those hypothetical questions. I didn’t want to share those articles in the body of the blog, because they could contribute to your decision fatigue! However, if you find them useful, here are articles on life insurance, saving in 401(k)s, and college savings accounts:
I hope they are helpful to you! Please email me if you have further questions on these or any other savings questions. I want to help you!