Thriving is living well at all phases of your investing life, whether you’ve just begun investing or you’re managing a large investment portfolio. Behavioral finance articles explore how making smart investment decisions and maintaining your peace of mind live happily together. Additional aspects of living well include fitness, relationships, and giving. The Thriving category offers insights and practical guidance for enjoying your life.

6 Practical Ways to Keep Your Emotions in Check When Investing

According to The Motley Fool, financial data firm Dalbar has found that “Investors tend to sell after experiencing a paper loss and start investing only after the markets have recovered their value. The devastating result of this behavior is participation in the downside while being out of the market during the rise.”

In the past, particularly as a younger investor, I noticed that I may feel inspired to invest in fast-growing, popular businesses when shares are in high demand; at other times, I may feel compelled to get rid of faltering, downward-trending companies with depressed stock prices. And, even though my feelings didn’t typically drive me to act on these feelings, I often felt anxious during times of market turbulence.

Over the years, I have become more adept at making intentional investment decisions, driven by long-term goals not short-term angst or excitement. Plus, I have learned not to let day-to-day market moves dictate my mood. Here are practical ways I have learned to keep emotions in check when investing:

4 Inexpensive Ways to Get College Credit

Paying for a university education is expensive, ranging from about $20,000 per year at a state university to more than $40,000 for out-of-state or private school tuition, room and board, fees, etc. From work-study programs to scholarships, there are many ways to lower overall costs.

One strategy is to earn college credit for studies outside of the university’s traditional classrooms. For example, many high school students take AP classes, which not only positions them well for admissions but also (potentially) earns college credits.

A student can reduce overall expenses by earning credit hours through AP courses and similar methods. But be sure to confirm with university admissions officers, advisors, etc. that these efforts (and associated expenses) will actually move your student closer to graduation with a bachelor’s degree.

Financial Goals: How to Reach Them (Basic Formulas)

After you have defined your financial goals, you may want to figure out how to reach your goals. There are many variables and detours on the way to achieving your goals. But you may find basic financial calculations helpful in charting your course.

Start by identifying a dollar value for each goal; then determine how much you should set aside to reach this goal within a certain time frame. You can use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to perform these calculations. I’ll show you the basics.

4 Easy Steps to Overcoming Your Fear of Investing

One of the topics I find fascinating (and important) to explore is the idea of overcoming fear or other emotion that prevents people from investing in the stock market. Though some cynically view investing as a system gamed against the average investor, I believe it can provide opportunity for regular people to build wealth, gain greater freedom over their lives by becoming less dependent on employment, and improve financial security.

5 Ways I Have Invested in Myself

Most of my money has been invested in the stock market. But occasionally, I invest in myself. Honestly, I think I should invest more money in myself and my business but my frugality often gets in the way. And, while I rarely hesitate to spend on my children (for summer camps, enrichment programs, musical instruments, sports gear, and college education), I tend to ponder and over-think investments in me.

In addition to my general reticence to spend money, I am often unsure of what investments will pay off. So, while I have come to realize that it’s okay to spend money on me, I still struggle with determining whether an expense today will yield results tomorrow. Still, fortunately, there are notable examples of investing in myself that have reaped benefits, both tangible and intangible.

Here are several investments that I am glad I made: