There are good aspects and bad when it comes your finances as a bachelor. One of the best financial aspects of being a bachelor is that there is no one there to tell you what to do with your money. You are the number one decision maker and you can decide how cheaply or how extravagantly you want your living situation to be. This means that you can choose to dress fashionably and drive a fancy car while living in a $300 a month, cracker box apartment, or live well below your means when it comes to food and entertainment, but put your feet up at the end of the day in a palatial palace. It's up to you!
The down side of being on your own is that there may not be anyone at your side to help you out with expenses when things go bad. There's no dutiful wife to help share costs or discuss investment options when it comes to what to do with your money. And if you aren't one that is particularly savvy when it comes to your paychecks, you might find it difficult to discipline your bachelor mentality when attempting to reign in your spending. You don't want to end up playing big man only to live like a miser in your golden years.
To help you avoid such an existence, here is a guide to investing for bachelors that might help you when it comes to your personal financial situation.
1. Understand your finances
Since you'll likely have no one else to do it for you, it is critical that as a bachelor you fully understand your investments. Doing so means that you may have to be a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to your money. To fully focus on your investments though, you will likely have to perform other functions such as balancing the checkbook, paying bills, keeping up with your retirement account, making investment decisions, and avoiding overdraft and credit card fees. To make sure that you are up to the task, it is important to understand the tools and resources that are available to help you with organizing and having a working knowledge of your money and investments.
Being a bachelor doesn't mean you are completely on your own when it comes to investing. Friends, family, and co-workers can be helpful resources when it comes to discovering investment options as well listen to a few good investment horror stories. Then you have the analysts and consultants out there ‚Äòmanaging' your 401k, 403b, or IRA, but you never know what ulterior motives they might have when it comes to where you put your money. So what other resources are out there when it comes to investing?
Amazingly, that thing called the newspaper still offers business and investing information. And if you can't stand getting some ink on your pretty little fingers, the internet offers up a slew of research tools and options. Blogs and online investing communities can be great places to read about and discuss investment ideas and strategies, and there are a variety of tools and tracking devices available with which you can measure your investment progress.
3. Invest in what you know
Putting money into investment vehicles you don't understand can lead to exasperation and frustration, especially if you start losing money. While your bachelor lifestyle might be conducive to a little risk taking and wild streaks, when it comes to your money, you may want to tone down your strategy. Just because you don't have a family to provide for yet, doesn't mean you have to go crazy when it comes to risky investments. A bachelor with a guaranteed four or five percent return on his money might not sound exciting, but it's better than being a broke bachelor. Choosing sound investments that you understand and that have a reasonable expectation of return can provide peace of mind and steady income streams.
Even a bachelor with few responsibilities should be responsible when it comes to his investments. Remember, you may not be a bachelor forever, and it can be nice to go into a relationship with a little nest egg stashed away for the future. A diversified portfolio that spreads your money over a variety of investments with various risk levels can help keep big swings in your returns to a minimum. Spreading money over stocks, bonds, mutual funds, savings accounts, CDs, real estate, commodities, tangible assets, and other investment options can help you ensure your investment eggs aren't all put in one basket.
5. Realise your goals
When making investments as a bachelor, it's important that you understand your goals as well as your money. Having not only an idea of where you're going, but how you're going to get there will make it easier to evaluate your successes and failures along the way. Writing some short and long term goals, even if it's just jotting your ideas down on a sheet of paper, is a great reminder of the direction in which you want your investments, and in turn, your life to proceed.