In the classic tale, A Christmas Carol, the mean-spirited Scrooge appears to spend all of his time managing and worrying about his wealth. While there’s no need to act like Scrooge in real life, most of us should spend some time keeping an eye on money matters.

Here are seven big picture strategies to improve your long-term financial results.

1. Save half of your pay raises: Because you didn’t have access to these funds beforehand, make it a habit to invest or save half of each pay raise. This best practice will have a profound effect on your net worth over a long period of time.

2. Invest tax-efficiently: To encourage savings, the government has established all sorts of tax incentives. Some of these opportunities are downright confusing and require a little research or asking for help. Free money goes a long way, so it’s best to figure this stuff out – and not miss out on good wealth-accumulation opportunities.

3. Shop around: The financial industry emphasizes relationship-building and trust to dissuade you from shopping for the best deal. But remember: Financial firms offering these products change their prices frequently. It’s best to get three quotes. Tilly can help with that process.

4. Stay in your lane: This is a big one. If you aren’t a highly trained financial professional, steer clear of purchasing high-risk investments such as options, commodities, small stocks, and cryptocurrency. In the short-term, you may win on some of these trades, but the long-term is another ball game. (Reading articles on the Internet does not make you a highly trained professional, FYI.)

5. Strive for competitive interest rates on your cash savings: When it comes to your emergency funds and cash savings, if you readily accept the paltry interest rate your bank provides, you’ll lose thousands of dollars in interest over the long-haul. You must proactively manage your savings to get a good rate by finding better rates without sacrificing your risk tolerance.

6. Maintain a “Goldilocks” amount of insurance: While insurance provides security and peace of mind, you don’t necessarily need to purchase too much insurance or buy expensive features such as whole life policies. Instead, consider purchasing what you need and using good financial management to protect against smaller risks.

7. Purchase financial products that are best for you, not just suitable for you: There’s a big difference between a suitable product and the best product. For example, a suitable product might imply there is a less expensive, better product available that you aren’t aware of. Many financial professionals will recommend the suitable product, so beware!

So there you have it. In future blogs, we’ll dive deeper into some of these strategies. If you have questions, ask Tilly today. We’re here to help.