2019 is almost over; how much have you saved? Invested? Spent on a vacation? Emergencies? What new thing have you gotten for yourself?
Finances can be tricky: it always feels like the money is never enough or these responsibilities keep springing up from all over. It is important not to leave things to neither chance nor luck nor fully depend on others. Financial goal setting is akin to planning which indicates a sense of direction for the individual. While things may not always go as intended, at least you won’t be caught unprepared.
Here are 10 financial realistic goals to set for yourself, some are long term, some short but they all provide sustainability;
1. Don’t add any more debt
Hello! We are trying to pay off existing debts already, please don’t get into more. Fact is, if you cannot pay for something on the spot without a grumble, you cannot afford it. Loans seem pretty but they are financial chains, do your very best not to get bound. Don’t make financial promises either, they are debts. The general idea is to either do it immediately or not at all, thinking about what you owe is enough to cause health issues.
2. Set up an emergency fund account
Sometimes hospital bills come calling, an unplanned event that is unavoidable manifests, a vacation well-deserved has to be taken; all these are real things that require money. An ideal rule is to set aside 10% of monthly earnings for emergencies strictly. This is to avoid dipping into your savings when the time comes.
3. Always budget your expenses
To avoid overspending, budget what you need to spend on. Know those that are fixed like rent, utility or gas and know those you can easily do away with or work towards. Try to make all expenses minimal.
4. Learn to live below what you can afford
This is related to the above but in no means is its frugality. Life is unpredictable and this shows you don’t consume all in one sitting. There is a lot to save; you only need to set aside certain percentages for them. Living below what you can afford will help you have financial fresh air as you are not living from paycheck to paycheck.
5. Learn skills that can increase your income
Take up career improvement courses, attend leadership seminars, masterclasses, do a masters degree if you can afford it, professional courses and be more relevant in your field.
6. Create multiple income streams
Even if it is just two. Realize not everyone can do what you have ability to. Find a way to meet needs and monetize it. There is talent and there are skills, use both wisely to your financial advantage.
7. Plan to do work that you love
This way it would not feel like a chore. While circumstances do not always allow us to chase our dreams wholeheartedly, doing something you love as a side job brings you fulfillment which can be transferred unto your regular job. Really try to figure out how your gift can meet needs and solve problems.
8. Invest/save wisely
Asides from saving for rainy days, do your best to invest too. Don’t leave cash lying fallow in your account for too long. Find an investment opportunity (long term advisably) with a reasonable ROI and put some money into it. This is another income stream once you start earning returns. Buy shares if you can afford it. A good savings rule is 20% of monthly earnings into a designated account.
9. Save up wisely for retirement
It is never too early to start. While most companies pay some of your salaries to your pension account, you could add about 5% more monthly or yearly, from any of your accounts, it’s your choice. You are planning for the far future, a long term plan.
10. Set financial milestones
Have realistic yearly set savings, emergency, investment and retirement money goals, so that by the end of the year you have something to measure your progress with. Also, aim to record your monthly income flow including expenses; this would help you know what seems to be boring holes into your finances. A simple knowledge of record-keeping is very useful.