2018 is right around the corner and I am fairly certain that money and financial planning is up there on people’s list. “Save more, spend less” is going to be our #1 resolution for 2018.
Are you financially ready for the new year?
The question is not to scare you, but to prepare you for whatever is coming in the new year, especially despite the many problems we are facing in Nigeria like the administration or situation of the economy.
Whether you want to save for a home or school fees, get a new job or start a side hustle, you need to financially prepare yourself!
The good news is, if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands planning to get your personal finances into better shape with a 2018 financial plan, you don’t have to go about it alone.
I am here to guide you.
So, you can start to apply whatever you learn from here, and with consistency – it will work.
A Financial Year Review
Before I get into what I have for today, I want you to do a little exercise.
Yes, this year is over, but before you start making plans for the next one. I want you to reflect and review on your 2017 financial path. You can start by praising yourself – because you have tried – and then:
- Think about all the things you’ve accomplished financially.
- What personal finance areas did you improve?
- What financial goals did you achieve?
- What financial mistakes or decisions did you make?
- Are there any things you need to do in the next year to maintain your goals?
Once you are able to reflect on this, then you can start making plans for the new year.
1. Know What You Want
You need to be sure of exactly what you want and have the confidence to achieve it. Envision what you want.
”Have a clear and concise financial goal for the year”
It isn’t good enough to say, “I want to have money this 2018”. Instead, you should write a financial plan that is clear and actionable like, “I want to start saving #100,000 monthly, and invest in mutual funds before the year runs out”.
With this, you know exactly what you are working towards.
2. Start to Budget and Save
We have lots of people that make money but are still broke, simply because they are not managing their money properly. This just shows that budgeting is key to financial stability. I absolutely understand how hard it can be to budget, but if you can start, you get used to it with time. To budget, you should:
- Set up a monthly budget and stick to it all year
- Try to reduce your spending each month
Budgeting and savings go hand in hand. You have to budget to save. You need to have a specific percentage you intend to save to ensure you meet your set goals and also meet emergency situations. I particularly enjoy talking on savings and I have done a bit of justice to this topic in older posts.
3. Enroll in an Automated Savings Plan
Automated Savings is a type of personal savings system in which the plan contributor (e.g www.piggybank.ng) automatically deposits a fixed amount of funds/money at specified intervals (daily, weekly or monthly) into a largely inaccessible (except you’ve met your savings target) account.
4. Pay Off Your Debt(s)
Debts can prevent you from achieving your financial dreams and complicate your plans. You need to start paying them off now and also learn to stay away from borrowing money except absolutely necessary!
Resolve not to add to your debt this year.
If you are in debt, you need to know that’s not the end of the world. You can start creating a strategic plan on how you can pay back your debts in the coming year. Commit to paying off debts now, and you’ll be able to keep the money that you invest in the future.
5. Invest/Review Your Investments
If you are already investing, you are on the right track. Now, you need to review these investments you’ve made and ensure the returns are worth it. A new year comes with new opportunities and you should search for these opportunities for investment.
Start getting greater returns with less risk.
If you’ve not engaged in investment at all, now is a good time to start making plans for them. Learn to understand the golden rules rules of investment and then take advantage of various investment options we have; T-bills, mutual funds, stocks and shares, FGN savings bonds etc.
I am always here to help, and in doing this, I would be starting ”The 30 Days Financially Fit Challenge” to help us achieve this.
6) Other Options to Engage in
Asides from the above, doing the steps below would also aid in having a stable financial life in the new year.
Read a financial book each month
Ensure you collect your change after a purchase
Make money doing what you love – turn passions and hobbies into money
Better your career – constantly improve on yourself
Write down what you spend – to properly account
The path is never always easy, but start planning now!
If you have contributions or advice, kindly drop it in the comment section below. A new year comes with great opportunities, take advantage of everything.
Kindly look forward to the ‘The 30 Days Financially Fit Challenge”. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to participate in this.
Have a financially fulfilling new year!
”Save more, Spend less”
Until next time.