Be regular with your investment. It is best to allocate a portion of your funds from your monthly income and make arrangements to transfer it immediately to another account, from where you can plan your fund allocation for each investment. Do not use the bank account that you utilise for your day to day expenses, draw money at the ATMs etc. for this purpose. Use a different account. This will help you organise your funds and quell the temptation to overspend
Try and chart a financial goal map.
List out the goals for which you would need lump sums for. Work backwards and set aside money for each of these goals.
For eg. If it has to do with buying a house, then you could perhaps think of multiplying a portion of your assets in a risk category like stocks periodically every month. You could opt to put another portion of your savings in a fixed deposit plan. The idea is to do a bit of research and let your savings be pooled in a few financial instruments of your choice, so that you will be able to liquidate it for say a down payment for your dream house, when the time is ripe for it.
A little bit of basic education is also needed for you to be in touch with what is happening on your personal finance front.
Understand things that can affect your purse strings. Get a grip on fundamentals like inflation, tax rebates, tax laws and the effect they have on your monthly income and monthly budgets. Invest time in proper tax planning.
It is okay to take a little bit of risk in order to obtain a higher return on investment.
Whatever investment you make, be sure to grasp the essence of it completely. Understanding is very vital for you to reap the benefits of that particular financial instrument fully.
Be regular with your investment.
It is best to allocate a portion of your funds from your monthly income and make arrangements to transfer it immediately to another account, from where you can plan your fund allocation for each investment. Do not use the bank account that you utilise for your day to day expenses, draw money at the ATMs etc. for this purpose. Use a different account. This will help you organise your funds and quell the temptation to overspend.
Watch where your expenses go.
If at any point in time you feel there is a problem with reaching your monthly goals towards saving for investment, then rework your budget. Study the inflow and outflow of money on a day to day basis. At the end of every week and finally once at the end of a month, understand how much expense has gone towards these three aspects - shopping, eating out, entertainment, vacations/travel, medical expenses etc. which would be the most probable varying expense apart for your regular monthly expense.
If the expense was unexpected and not within your control
try and maintain a more strict budget cutting down on some of your indulgences to adjust that amount toward the saving targets. If however you have been lax and thrown caution to the winds, breached the code of discpline, then go back to the basics and try to instill discipline in balancing your spending account.
However, do not be too harsh on yourself if its a once in a while occurence,
after all we have but one life to live, so do live to the fullest but understand to do so a bit of smart money planning will go a long way to take care of a blissful retirement. So think if its worth and by all means spoil yourself a bit from time to time.