The beginning of the year is always a time of goals and resolutions. Everyone is brimming with endless possibilities, hoping to start afresh and make the most of the clean slate set before them. The euphoria of a new year usually has most people feeling that everything is possible and this year can be different from all others. A chance to change everything!
In all the goal setting and resolution making, financial goals are usually on the very top of everyone’s lists. We all know that our financial situation shapes the kind of year we have.
Financial goals range from getting out of debt, building up your savings or investment portfolio, increasing your earnings and earning potential, acquiring multiple streams of income and many more.
For some of you, you have had an excellent 2017 and you are even more motivated than ever to top your financial winning streak. For others, you had a terrible year or last few years, and you just want to get out of that and do better. For either one of these situations and everyone in between, financial success is not a mirage. It is not impossible. All you need, as you make your goals, are these tips to guide you into making them a reality.
Here are five sure tips to ensure that your financial dreams come true.
1. Create a zero-based budget at the beginning of every month to guide your expenses.
Planning is everything in financial circles. You do not need to dish out more money on a financial planner unless you are dealing with really complex circumstances. The key to zero-based budgeting is ensuring that every item on your budget is a necessity. There must be a need, reason, and justification for everything you spend money on. This might seem a little stringent now, but you will be thankful later. A lean budget today gets you a fat account tomorrow.
2. Begin or continue building your emergency fund.
No, this is not your savings, but it is as important as your savings. This will keep you from crumbling in the face of an emergency or crisis. It is a common saying now that most people are one big expense away from bankruptcy. You may find that in the face of serious health challenges, having to move, make a big purchase or anything that takes a ton of money from you; you are left practically broke. So, it is not just a saying. It is the reality of many individuals and families today. If you find yourself having to spend your savings when something big comes up, you would be right back where you started. So, dedicate as much to building an emergency fund as you would your savings. While you’re at it, build special funds dedicated to particular expenses, so your savings remain just that – savings.
3. Build and grow your savings and investment portfolios.
This is sure to have you feeling more secure, and we all know rich people are those who earn money even while they sleep. Keep a reasonable percentage of your earnings in the bank, earning interest and invest wisely in low/no risk opportunities. You do not need to get too greedy and make too much off this but at the same time, do not ignore the opportunities it may present.
4. Leverage technology massively.
Technology is practically the best thing that ever happened to this generation and this is even more so for savings. You can get technology tailored to practically everything. Budget apps, expense apps, fintech savings and investment initiatives. You need it, someone has thought about it and there’s probably an app out there for it. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to leverage technology for this need.
5. The mindset.
The most important thing in all of this is your mindset. You have to be disciplined, determined and committed. All of these tips are as successful as the mind that implements them. That’s the greatest key to your financial success this year. Don’t waste it.
See you at the end of 2018, smiling I’m sure.
About the Author:
Edwin runs the personal finance blog, Cash The Checks. Since 2006 he’s not only written about saving and making money, he’s been doing it. Edwin enjoys sharing his personal experience in improving money habits and achieving financial freedom and helping others do the same.