We all set new goals in January or try to resuscitate the goals we failed to achieve the year before: go to the gym, eat healthily, go on that dream vacation or buy a new car. These are great goals, but without planning properly for your finances, they’ll be hard to attain. Having Financial New Year’s resolutions is a great way to kick start your year.
Wealth Manager and Personal Finance Advocate, Gerald Mwandiambira, shares four achievable goals.
Set goals & track them
It’s easier to set new goals at the beginning of the year because they are easier to track. Some people have an annual window, others every four months or five times a year. Once you reach a financial goal you should set up a new one. Your goals have to be attainable. The reason why many people fail is that they set up a life-time goal. It’s better to set shorter time frames.
Pay off December debt
Make the first call and get in touch with your creditors, don’t wait for them to call you. December is a time when some people over spend. If you make the first call you’re showing credibility and can start the process of fixing things immediately.I It might be easier to ignore your debt but it doesn’t make it go away. Every time you ignore a debt, the interest grows, which means your debt is growing. The sooner you approach it and get it under control, the sooner you can get rid of it.
Start saving or save more
If you weren’t saving, it’s likely that you won’t save again without doing something different. A good suggestion is to get in touch with a financial planner or wealth coach to get on track, or even a colleague or family member who can help you be accountable. It’s the same principal as getting a gym trainer, once they teach you necessary skills you don’t need to keep paying them, you can achieve the results and continue on your own. And, once you see the fruits of saving, you will be motivated to continue. You also need to make sacrifices today for your future.
Set up an emergency fund
An emergency fund is the foundation of all your savings plans, it’s the money you need for short-term emergencies and once you have that in place you can start saving towards other things. It’s best to save six months of your salary for emergencies, so that any other savings will not be interrupted.
If you’re someone who has never tried to save, or struggled to do so, it’s important to have an intervention. This year, see a professional and start educating yourself. You can watch YouTube videos or buy books. If you do the same thing you did last year, you’re going to have the same results. You need to make radical changes in your behaviour, like moving to a less expensive house, changing relationships or downgrading your car. Don’t stay in a comfort zone.
For personal financial advice visit www.askgerald.co.za