Now is the time to set up a savings and investment plan

I confess: I live with a chronic case of avoidance behavior.  It flares up around tax filing time, doctor’s appointments, viewing my 401(k) statement in a bear market or taking the garbage out.  In short, whenever I have to confront an unpleasant activity of any sort, I’d just, well, rather not. 

So I understand when people tell me they would rather not talk about their finances right now, since money is tight.  But if not now, when? Over the years, I have made great progress in managing my tendency to avoid and I have learned a few things. Like: The best time to buy stocks is when they’re down, and the best time to talk about money is when you don’t have much. 

Each of these activities – when acted on – will set you up for future wealth accumulation. Now is an excellent time to develop a spending and saving-to-invest plan – even if you can’t act on it just yet. 

New priorities:A dream home, a vintage school bus and quirky roller skates: Here’s what couples are buying with their pandemic wedding funds

Pay it back:I was furloughed and got too many unemployment payments. 

Make 2020 the year you finally get your finances under control.

In the literary classic “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” Francie Nolan’s dirt-poor, immigrant grandmother (who reminds me of my own grandmother) provides a lesson in saving that we could all stand to learn. The grandmother counseled to save whatever could be managed – even pennies each day:  “The money will grow.”  Soon, “there will be a small fortune.” 

Old-fashioned advice from another time? I think not.

Last August, I wrote a column about two people of humble means who saved to invest and died with millions of dollars

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