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?