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One of the biggest hurdles is overspending, Bernstein says. Small expenses, such as a cable TV package or coffee addiction, can easily chip away at your savings goal, especially when you’re on a tight budget. So pay yourself first: Have money put into a 401(k) or savings account before you get your paycheck.

—Think long term. It’s human nature to react to immediate risks, Bernstein says. It’s hard for us to take the long-term perspective that financial markets require. As such, we have to learn to tune out the daily noise (i.e., what you hear in the news) and accept the fact that you will lose money in the market sometimes.

But those losses usually don’t last. Studying a little financial history, another one of Bernstein’s suggestions for staying on track, will help you realize that.

“Once you’ve read the script, you know how the movie ends,” he says.

©2014 Chicago Tribune
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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