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Mississippi Money: Discipline

When your children misbehave, you discipline them to bring them back on track. When you miss a goal you adopt more discipline to reach it. Fitness goals, study habits, work deadlines, good behavior and financial targets all require discipline, right? As a financial advisor, my portfolio management depends on discipline. Being disciplined about my response to the market’s behavior is how my clients’ accounts will fund their goals. Discipline guides behavior back to the straight and narrow path to success.

You probably know discipline can be hard. As you also know discipline can be boring. While I kept last year’s resolutions thanks to discipline (and a lot of correcting myself), it wasn’t exactly fun and easy. In 2017, I am setting my resolutions intentionally.

Being intentional or purposeful with your actions is a much more rewarding way to reach your goals. Purpose means setting goals that you actually believe in and truly want to achieve. If I don’t actually want to run a half marathon, getting out and running every Saturday is going to be adrag, and I’ll struggle to commit to it. If instead I just intend to enjoy the fresh air, clear my mind and get my blood pumping, I’ll look forward to my occasional run and stay healthy doing it.

Sticking to a budget requires a lot of discipline. If the budget is tight, you might make yourself sick tallying every purchase and checking your account frequently. Instead, think about what you value enough to spend on. If a purchase does not align with your goals and values, it will be easy to not spend your hard earned money.

I often frame saving as a discipline, putting a fixed amount of money out of reach every time you get paid. If instead you view your money as security and an ability to hit future goals, you may even start to look forward to moving extra cash to your savings or investment account!

Discipline is a way to frame your behavior in the short term. Acting, spending and saving with purpose frames your behavior in a broader and more meaningful context. Set your 2017 resolutions intentionally, and your behavior will naturally follow.

 

By Ryder Taff

About The Author

Ryder Taff

Ryder Taff currently lives in Jackson not too far from the home he grew up in! After graduating from the University of Bristol (England) he came home and started working at New Perspectives, Inc, an investment advisory that he is now a shareholder in. With his passion for education, he focuses on getting everyone from young professionals to families to retirees into excellent financial habits. You can reach him at rtaff@newper.com

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