Happy New Year Tribe!

The New Year is upon us! With that comes  feelings of renewal, hope and many people set New Year’s resolutions to either start going to the gym, eat healthier, further their studies etc, but how often do we set a goal or a new year’s resolution for financial success? 

Remember, whatever stage of your financial life you are at, with what you have; you can work towards a financially successful life. Develop a positive money consciousness and work towards your goals.

Here are 6 areas you can start with and grow from there.

1. Fall in love with budgeting

A budget is the cornerstone for a healthy financial life. You cannot feel in control of your money if you do not know where it’s going. Do your budget regularly and let it speak to your highest priorities.

2.  Set a goal to increase your savings

Get crystal clear why you want to save. Create a goal that inspires you to want to reach it. A good tip is to not  use your everyday bank account for your savings, open a different one altogether for your savings. If you don’t, you will probably end up using the funds on things like dinners, drinks and clothes!

 3. Set a goal to have an emergency fund

As I have said before, there is no one who has never had an emergency, whether small or big, it is an inconvenience if you do not have money set aside for the unforeseen financial disruptions that do happen in ones life.

Commit to building your emergency fund today, you can start small and build from there; but just start.

 

4. Set a goal to start investing/increase your contribution towards your investments

Remember, unlike savings which are short-term, investments are long-term.

You should at least strive to have the following investments:

  • A Unit Trust
  • Tax-Free Savings Account
  • Exchange-Traded Fund

Hopefully, overtime you will gain the confidence  to move to other investments such as shares, investment property etc.

 

5. Set a goal to save/ increase your retirement fund contribution

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Here’s the thing, should you live long enough, you will retire one day. As the statistics go, only 6% of South Africans are able to retire financially independent, the rest have to continue working, get government assistance or depend on family. I don’t know about you, none of the other options sit well with me.

So, do yourself a favour start a retirement annuity or if you do have an existing one, increase your contribution at least every year. If your employer offers a Pension/ Provident fund also see if you can increase your contribution towards it.

Retirement funds also have a tax benefit which I will write a blog about soon.

6. Set a goal for personal development

What are you good at? What do you believe about yourself that perhaps only yourself,  your family or close friends know you are good at? Why have you not explored your talents and shown them to the world? This New Year, commit to not hiding, show up, put yourself out there and see good things happen. Do not be afraid to ‘fail’. There is growth and learning to be found in ‘failure’.

If you want to study further, do so. If you want to start a business, dive right in, don’t wait for the perfect moment, it will never come. Just start. Give yourself permission to do what you love.

 

What financial goals have you set for yourself in 2018 and how do you plan to achieve them?

Author: Mapalo Makhu

I want to help women make confident financial decisions and build real wealth.

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6 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions: Financial goals to set for 2018

  1. Hi Mapalo,

    Thanks for the advice, it was worth reading.

    Posted on January 2, 2018 at 11:53 am
    1. Thanks for the positive feedback Tebogo.

      Posted on January 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm
  2. Thank you for the article, good first read to pump me up for the year. I always find saving for emergency fund a challenge because I have a credit card that sort of works as a”emergency fund”. Some of my 2018 financial goals include investing in a Tax-free savings account and buying unit trusts.

    Posted on January 3, 2018 at 11:32 pm
    1. Thanks for the positive feedback Boitumelo. Open up a different account and commit even a small amount of R500 p/m and build from there. Your credit card is never an emergency fund, the interest they charge you is not worth it.

      with investing in Tax-free savings and unit trusts, go for a good asset manager with low costs and perhaps look into exchange traded funds as well, much lower costs.

      Posted on January 5, 2018 at 12:24 pm
  3. Happy New Year!

    Thank you for the article. My goals are to pay off two of my debts (store card and a credit card) and to start an emergency fund. I’m also paying off my vehicle in February so I’ll be using that amount towards paying off the above debt. I have already automated the monthly contribution for my emergency fund, so I’ll have no excuse.
    I’ll also be working on my dissertation for my Masters.

    Posted on January 4, 2018 at 9:27 am
    1. That is amazing Gugu, a woman with a plan! And once you pay off the debts I hope you focus on investing.

      Posted on January 5, 2018 at 12:19 pm