In November 2019, I signed up for a Help to Buy ISA that was being offered to young people.
I signed up just before the deadline and received a text saying that because there was such high demand, it would take some time before my details were processed and I could open the account.
I never received the promised letter with my bank details and in the busy run-up to Christmas – going home at the end of the uni semester and a flying visit to Germany – I completely forgot about the account. In conversations over the last year with friends and family, the ISA has kept cropping up because it will be a worthwhile future investment.
However, I’ve been putting off ‘making the time’ to do it for over a year.
I finally sorted it out the other week after a few helpful conversations via an online live chat service. (One reason why I hadn’t sorted it out previously was that I thought I would have to call and spend hours on hold). I’ve finally got some money in the account via monthly standing order, but on reflection, I’m annoyed with myself because I should’ve acted sooner.
If I had been paying into it for over a year now, I could have quite a healthy amount in the account. Yet I failed to think in the long term. I thought: ‘I’ll sort it out soon”. And 12 months later, I still hadn’t acted.
We are presented with opportunities for long-term thinking most days – in our friendships, relationships, work, habits and investments. But we’re not wired to think like this immediately.
We have to cultivate this ‘habit’ of long-term thinking because our Lizard Brain wants us to act irrationally and fearfully in the short term.
What are you planning for in the future? Do you have any long-term goals or investments?