“ Successful people are simply those with successful habits”
Every new year comes with the hope of new beginnings, a clean slate as it were. This year is no different. However, my encouragement to you is to make it different for yourself by mastering your own finances. This one, please do not delegate, be deliberate about it and I promise you at the end of the year you will be happier for it. So let’s get right to it, shall we?
1. Budget and stick to it.
I think, if nothing else, I have sung this song for as long as this blog has been in existence but let me push through this again because it is the essence of discipline in personal finance. It helps to have a budget well written with all good intentions, but it is way better to put the intention into action and stick to it.
Don’t buy it if it isn’t on the list.
If you cannot afford it don’t buy it. And not affording it here means that given all your other needs, if you make a purchase on a whim, it will destabilize you.
2. Think big and start acting on the plans.
It takes the same amount of energy to think small as it does to think big, so why not think big? Don’t neglect or dismiss your big dreams. Now after the big plans, start acting on them.
And here momentum is of the essence. Little steps daily are much better than waiting for the big opportunity to present itself, whether it is time or resources.
Start with what you have, Start where you are, but Start today!
3. Do a spring cleaning and sell what you don’t need.
You will be surprised at how much you can get. Do you know that clutter affects your well-being? How you think and your mood. We may not realize it but over time it is possible to collect so much clutter in the name of useful things that you will use ” later”.
The only trouble is that later never comes. So you have all these things that ;
a) You should give to someone who will find a use for
b) You should probably sell and earn something from or,
c) You should throw them away as there is no value left in them.
So, spring clean your life, including your digital life. Chances are you will feel lighter and have a clearer outlook on things.
4. Walk with people who are going where you are going, ditch the anchors!
You know those guys who are all about pity-partying? Always complaining about one thing after the other.
And if you can’t, avoid them.
Imagine even though things are not looking up, hope is a human pre-requisite. There is no need of spending all your time pitying your situation when you could try to do something about it. So, surround yourself with positivity, because what you focus on expands.
5. Be deliberate about learning a new skill and apply it in life.
There is no end to learning, and each of us is born with something that is unique to us, a talent as it were.
Have you exploited yours?
It may just be the thing you need to start earning an extra income. Work on it and become excellent at it and if it makes people’s lives easier then, chances are you could earn from it.
6. Ditch a bad habit that will save you time and money.
If we are being honest, you have a habit that is either costing you time or money. it could be mindlessly watching TV or hanging out with your friends every other day. It could be every time you go into the supermarket to buy bread and milk, you get out with a trolley full of things. You can ditch these unproductive habits you just have to put some effort into it. Mind you, you can ease yourself out, and give yourself some sort of a soft landing.
But determine to give up a habit that does not serve you and have an end date by which to do it, just so that you have some pressure.
7. Commit to saving and investing at least 10% of your income.
Every investment starts with savings. So, as you budget make a plan to save at least 10% of all your income. I have learned over time; it takes deliberate effort to do this. Because when you find that the money is available then there is no shortage of use for it. This means you’ve got to be purposeful about where you put your savings, and
8. Create an emergency fund start small and grow it slowly.
You probably have experienced Murphy’s law at one time or another in life. Just to bring you to speed, Murphy’s law loosely states that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. For me, it means hoping for the best but planning with the worst-case scenario. That way if the worst doesn’t happen then you are better off , for planning and if the worst does happen then at least you have something to work with.
An emergency fund is an accumulation of at least 6-9 months’ worth of your living expenses. And don’t think you have to have all the amount, at once! Woah you will be overwhelmed.
Plan to accumulate it slowly but surely, until you get to the number that you are comfortable with.
Remember the rule of thumb when you use a portion of the money, work on replenishing it as soon as possible.
9. Be consistent
This is the deal breaker if you ask me. Consistency separates the doers from the wanna-bes
Be consistent. In working on yourself.
Be consistent. In the new habits you have acquired
Be consistent. In saving and investing.
I think you get the point, so I leave it to you.
All in all, getting good at your personal finances means hard work, but you will be better at it when you put in the hard work.
This is my sincere wish for you, that you will master yourself as you master your finances this year.
Cheers to a strong start!