A Little Can Go A Long Way | Valentine’s Day Special
Please note this blog post was published over 12 months ago and so may not include the most up-to-date information, for example where regulation around investing has changed.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day and your money, it is usually one-way traffic with cash leaving your account. Rightly so, you want to spoil the one you love. But there are also a few lessons to be learned from Valentine’s day, lessons which can be applied to help you do more with your money.
Give yourself time, don’t leave it until last minute
It’s best not to leave Valentine’s Day gifts until the last minute. You’ll probably regret it once you’ve made a rushed trip to the local supermarket and realise the only things left on the shelves to buy are slightly wilting flowers, low quality boxes of heart-shaped chocolate and over-priced cuddly toys.
By getting organised and giving yourself plenty of time, you have the advantage of getting something more thoughtful and personal, and probably better value for money.
This same lesson is applicable to your money, you need to give yourself time to reach your goals. You wouldn’t leave it until the day before you expect to retire to start contributing to your pension, would you?
The earlier you start contributing to your investments, the better chance you have to reach your goal. With most things in life, leaving things to the last minute usually leads to the same result – the potential for stress, poor decision making and disappointment.
Think about personalisation
Personalised gifts are a good option, as they are often more sentimental and show that you’ve put thought and care into the buying process. It makes the gift much more special. Even the most ‘standard’ valentines’ gifts can be enhanced and made personal. For example, you might buy your loved one sunflowers instead of the traditional red roses, just because you know they are their favourite.
Catering to an individual’s unique needs is also essential for investing. For example, when deciding to invest, you should think about your attitude to risk, goal term and how much money you’ll need to reach your goal.
You can then choose the investment plan that best suits your individual needs.
Pay Attention All Year Round
History shows many versions of how Valentine’s Day was introduced, but we do know that the concept was founded in Rome. According to some historians, it was the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. This would mean we will have been celebrating Valentine’s Day for approximately 1600 years.
Having a day which is dedicated to your loved ones, however positive it seems, has had mixed responses throughout the years. Some people completely disagree with the concept of Valentine’s Day. They believe you should appreciate and spoil your partner every day of the year, rather than more so on one designated day.
This argument can again relate directly to investing. By contributing to your investments regularly, rather than investing a lump sum sporadically, you may find your investments go a lot further.
One of the benefits of regular investing is Pound Cost Averaging. Pound Cost Averaging works by smoothing market volatility. You invest at regular intervals rather than the occasional lump sum. The benefit of this is you end up purchasing more units of a fund when prices are low, meaning you could be better off in times of turbulence than you would have been if you had simply invested a lump sum.
With investing and romance, small but regular gestures may have more of a positive outcome over time, than an annual grand gesture.
After all, a little can go a long way.