Why 2010 Doesn’t Matter to Your Finances

by Jason Unger

It’s December, so it’s time for all of those lists of what you should do with your money in 2010.

Do me a favor: ignore all of that advice. It doesn’t apply to you.

The writers “advising” you in these lists don’t know your financial situation.

They don’t know how badly you’re in debt. They don’t know that you’re not saving enough for retirement. They don’t know you’re only working on your emergency fund.

All they know is the economy (and really, they don’t know that much about it).

Your financial situation is not the same as the economy’s; so why are you following its path?

Your Financial Timetable is Unique

You can’t schedule your financial decisions around the current economy. It may be a good time to buy a house or invest in the market, but if you’re not financially ready to, you shouldn’t do it.

You don’t need to start investing if you’re thousands of dollars in debt. You don’t need to radically adjust your asset allocation because of perceived market characteristics. You don’t need to buy a house if you haven’t saved money for it.

You can’t make your financial decisions based on someone else’s schedule. While the steps to financial freedom are the same for everyone, each person is on their own point in the path — and on their own schedule to get there.

You may be just realizing you need to turn things around. You may be working to get out of debt. You may have an emergency fund and are ready to start investing.

Your timetable isn’t found in any “must-do in 2010” lists. 2010 may be a great year for you, but it’s not because you’re doing anything special. It’s because you’re making the right decisions for where you are on your financial journey.

There’s no magic bullet that 2010 will bring. You just need to keep on doing the things you’re doing.

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