The 2020’s have become unpredictable which makes it even more important to make resolutions that will help us move through this unpredictability.
Heading into 2023, it is time to re-examine your financial goals by taking stock of your budget, your debt and investments for a clear understanding of where you stand financially and where you can begin in the New Year.
Since the beginning of a new year creates a new opportunity to set new goals for the future it is important to reflect on the past to have bearing on where to begin the journey of realignment, either afresh or in continuity.
By revisiting your personal and financial goals you can set yourself up for success in 2023 and beyond. Here are 20 things you can do to refresh your personal financial journey.
Towards achieving your saving goals, have an automatic payment system so that the money is auto-deposited into savings. If you are the one paying yourself, say from a business or any other investment, you can only transfer money you have earmarked for savings to a separate and designated account for savings or investment. By doing this, it will be harder to spend money you have managed to set aside in savings.
Does this matter if I have nothing? Since you are here, this matters because you’re seeking to get better with your goals- financials included. Now, if you have never calculated your net worth, the beginning of the New Year is a wonderful time to determine how much you are worth. This is a good starting point in assessing your financial health towards attaining your financial goals.
After doing your net worth calculation, the decisions you need to make become more obvious. Look closely at all your assets and liabilities since this will help you to create a clear picture of what your priorities should be. Could it be cutting down your current spending or saving more? It will be clear where you need to make the changes once you have calculated your net worth.
Also, you can consider calculating your net worth every year for a track record of your progress towards your financial goals. In addition, you can correct any mistakes you have made before which aids your financial progression.
Consider setting new savings objectives for the New Year including how much you want to contribute to your retirement kitty, a school fund, a payment on a new home or just savings for a vacation. To achieve your debt clearance goals, you could alter your payment plans on debts, personal loans and mortgage.
You could consider increasing the principal to your monthly mortgage payment where you could reduce the number of years it will take to pay off your mortgage. If you are confused on prioritising your debt clearance, you could always consult a financial advisor to determine the best choice for you.
If you have a stake in the stock market, you could rebalance your portfolio to its original or update the asset allocation allowing you to lock in benefits from the sectors with the strongest returns. You could also purchase shares in sectors that have lagged behind depending on forecasts.
Since the stock market is always subject to ups and downs, some industries outperform, while others underperform. For instance, the sectors that performed best last year could have failed to replicate this success but depending on future projections, you could buy more stocks or offload some and reinvest elsewhere.
If you have credit card debt, figure out how much you can actually afford to pay off in the New Year. Consider not making new purchases on those cards while you're working on reducing your debt. If you have credit card debt with a high interest rate, weigh the options on whether it would be better to pay it off or increase your savings. Where possible, you can transfer your credit card balance to a new card offering reduced interest rates or even a 0% introductory rate.
It is not only when you’re struggling or in good times that you need people with and around you. Consider the help of your family and friends to ensure that you stick to your financial plans this year.
Inform them of your financial objectives and how they may support you in achieving them, whether that means cutting back on expensive dinners, developing a cheaper hangout routine, or just acting as a "check-in" person to keep them informed of your success.
Since the introduction of the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) in Kenya, we now know that one’s ability to access financing could be negatively impacted by having a bad credit record. The result of this is that you can end up paying higher loan interest rates, which would lower your available income.
Always be on top of things by reviewing your credit report regularly and take action to correct any errors especially given the prevalence of inaccuracies.
With changing life insurance demands, you can alter your policy as you advance in your profession. Consider the level of protection you require and contrast it with any existing insurance you may have obtained via your employer's benefits programme.
Think about whether you require more or less life insurance and whether term or permanent coverage would be the best fit for your requirements.
We now have the ability to save our money conveniently and more effectively due to technology. Consider automating your transactions where your fixed expenses such as rent or hire purchase instalments are automatically paid out consistently every month. This gives one the discipline to never overspend.
Consider living by this straightforward maxim: "Pay fast, buy slow" to ensure that your money stays in order. To avoid late fines and to make it easier for you to calculate how much money is left over, pay your bills as soon as they come.
Additionally, practise slower spending to reduce impulsive buys and foster rational decision-making. Implementing a "pause" period between the time you initially consider buying something and the actual purchase will accomplish this.
It can be scary and time-consuming to carry several debt accounts, especially when the interest rates are all different. Consider getting an orderly payment system this year which could put an end to the stress of debt. You can make arrangements with your creditors to see how you can consolidate your debt.
It may be time to establish a side business to increase your income if you're having difficulties meeting your financial obligations or spending more than you're earning. You could consider baking, crafting, tutoring, landscaping or even babysitting for cash. These are just a few options and there are many ways of earning extra. Interestingly, your side job could become your main thing if demand grows.
Towards achieving your financial objectives, consider the 50-20-30 budget rule. This principle was popularised by Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren in her book All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. This guideline states that 50% of your income should be used for necessities, 20% should be saved, and the remaining 30% should be used for optional, non-essential expenditures, or "wants." Sounds plausible, it could be what your financial goals needed this new year!
A smart moment to start (or increase) your emergency fund is now. Experts often advise saving at least three to six months' worth of your spending. Consider opening a distinct, purpose-driven high-yield savings account after which you can:
An emergency fund can be used to cover unforeseen costs, but it can also be used to cover basic expenditures like housing, transportation, and food if you lose your job.
Limiting your eating out could help you save more money. Consider making eating at home enjoyable by making it simple. Cooking at home helps you save money and to start you off, you can use tried recipes from friends and family or look for recipes online.
To see how you fare, calculate your savings after a try-out, and you could want to think about using the additional cash for debt repayment or emergency fund development.
It's a good idea to review your beneficiary designations quickly after any life changing event. A person who has been named as a beneficiary of one or more bank accounts will be entitled to its benefits after your death. Common beneficiaries include spouses, kids, or other family members.
Beneficiaries are frequently named for accounts such as bank accounts, life insurance plans, brokerage accounts and retirement accounts.
Consider reviewing the beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement accounts to ensure that it represents your current wishes.
Don't restrict your investing to merely making tax-advantaged contributions to your retirement. The ability to outrun inflation and raise your purchasing power through investing can help you improve your financial situation.
In case you have an emergency savings account, you might want to think about opening an investing account for objectives with definite time frames including saving for an early retirement or a home.
A 2013 study by Forbes magazine shows that only 8% of people tend to keep their New Year's resolutions and actually accomplish them.
One of the reasons is that it is quite difficult to monitor success in the beginning, especially if there are no clear milestones.
The second factor is that individuals tend to think that they will move from 0 and 100 success in their resolutions. People tend to take on too much too soon which wears them out.
Taking small steps toward your objective during the year is the way to go instead of accelerating 0-100 without the requisite step-by-step approach.
We are very happy that 2023 is around the corner!
The hope is that it brings with it new accomplishments, insights, and experiences. Since the beginning of time, people have made New Year’s resolutions, and with good reason.
They set us up for the future and provide us with objectives to work toward. Change up your usual resolutions routine this year and concentrate on improving your personal finances by focusing on what we have discussed here.
The secret, though, is to have manageable goals with timelines so that you can measure your progress.
Happy 2023 and may all your resolutions materialise!