It’s that time of the year when people take out their pens and papers and start writing a long list of New Year’s resolutions. Usually, on top of many people’s resolution for the New Year is to save more.
While these plans are well-intended, by February, savings accounts are often stagnant and spending has skyrocketed. The recent turn of the economy may make savings worse if the New Year is even half of what we are currently experiencing now.
If your question has been “How can I up my financial game next year?” We may just have some tips for you!
- Do away with all forms of debt
Going into the New Year without any debt hanging around your neck sure gives you a fresh start. Whether this is a realistic and attainable goal really depends on your current financial and debt situation.
How heavily indebted you are, what type of debt you hold , your income level, and the interest rates pertaining to your debt determine how quickly or successful you are in becoming debt free.
Make it a point of duty to settle majority if not all of your debts before the New Year.
- Save! Save!! Save!!!
Once you have settled your debt, you take the next best step to ensure that you don’t get entangled in another debt. One of the best ways to do this is by opening a savings account with a credible and highly rewarding savings partner.
Savings accounts vary widely once it comes to interest, fees and other charges, so it is important that you do your research and find the one that is perfect for you. The end of every savings plan is to achieve a particular goal, so every extra interest you earn on your savings is worth it. Find an organization that guarantees you this!
- Get a side hustle
As funny as it may sound, we are now in an era of side hustles. Everyone or almost everyone needs an extra source of income at this point.
In a volatile economy, the peace of mind and supplemental income that comes with a side hustle can be a great buffer against all kinds of stresses, financial and emotional most importantly.
An extra N20, 000 a month is a great way to reach other financial goals and live a better and stress free life.
- Establish an emergency fund
Emergencies come up to throw you off your monthly budget. It could be a car repair, a visit to the hospital, or a job layoff. To keep these incidents from running you into debt, there is the need to have an emergency stash in an easily accessible account.
While your savings account might also serve as a rainy-day fund, it is in your best interest to have another fund placement plan dedicated solely to emergencies. Tampering with your savings account during emergencies might delay your goal accomplishment which could be buying that dream house or car.
With emergency funds set aside, you have something to fall back on without having to sacrifice that big purchase you have been saving for.
- Track your monthly expenses
Tracking your monthly expenses helps you know exactly where your paycheck is going and which areas you are overspending on.
By doing this, you have more control of your money and you are able to form a realistic budget that you can actually abide by.
For example if you discover that you are spending more on airtime every week, you can limit the number of unnecessary phone calls, and put the rest of that money into savings.
- Shop Smartly
Take advantage of the many benefits online shopping has and shop savvier.
Get more rewards by signing up for loyalty programs at your stores, buy in bulk when possible and look out for more deals during sales.
When shopping online, use the internet to your advantage and check out price-comparison websites to make sure you are getting the best deal. The spare change you save goes a long way towards achieving your savings goals.
After all of these, take necessary steps to know where you stand with your finances and how your plans are working out each week. Make sure you and on track and if not, don’t give up! Get back on track. When you hit your goals, celebrate and reward yourself a bit! Afterall, You Only Live Once (YOLO)