Today Is The First Day of The Rest of Your Life

by Hank Coleman

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  At first, that statement was hard for me to get my head around.  But, in these trying times in our financial lives, I actually find comfort in those words.  Maybe that saying is something that we should all remember when our 401-k’s have finally reached the bottom.  No matter what mistakes we may have made in the past and no matter how low the market goes, the next day of your life is the first day of the rest of your life.

The current recession has been particularly brutal for many people’s finances.  It does not help matters that this is the first bear market for many young investors who do not have others to compare it to.  So, where do we go from here?

Let me share with you a few of my ideas…

Make a new commitment for the rest of your life.  Start right now.  Do not look back.

Keep Investing. No one is exactly sure when the bulls will run again through the stock market, but everyone knows that they do not want to miss the eventual upswing.  And, yes, there will eventually be an upswing.  The year following a recession typically returns almost thirty percent to investors.  Now is not the time to pull your money out of the stock market.  And, now is certainly not the time to stay on the outside looking in with so many great companies trading at bargain basement prices.

Watch Your Pennies.  Budgeting and thrift have never been more in vogue and more important to your family’s budget.  Everyone needs a written budget.  Having your expenses written down keeps you honest and shows your potential spots to scale back your spending.  For example, do you really need two hundred television channels on cable or satellite?  Probably not.

Keep a positive attitude and your head up.  There is nothing more important than friends and family in our lives.  When times are tough, I often find myself taking pause and being thankful for the many blessings that I have in my life that do not even have one iota to do with money.

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