Make better financial decisions this 2019 to achieve your financial goals.
By Oluwatosin Olaseinde
A new year is an opportunity to set new financial goals and achieve them. Initially, it might seem daunting, or there might even be thoughts along the line of “but I set some goals last year and didn’t achieve it.”
You don’t have to take that journey alone without guidance; we have put together a few tips to help you achieve your financial goals in the New Year.
Write it down
Writing down goals serves two purposes: Firstly, to make them more real to you. It’s not enough to think up your goals in your head, write them out, boldly. Secondly, writing your goals help to remind you of them. While writing out your goals, make them simple, straightforward and achievable. For instance, don’t write “Save/Invest money” write “Save N20,000 monthly in a mutual funds account.” It’s okay to start small, don’t attempt to save 90% of your income on your first trial.
Build an emergency fund
An emergency fund is that amount of money you have saved for unexpected expenses that must be urgently attended to. I added “… that must be urgently attended to” because an unexpected expense may not be urgent and in that case, you can provide for it in your next budget. We usually recommend that you have at least six months worth of your monthly expenses in your emergency fund. That is, if you spend about N50,000 monthly, you should build an emergency fund of at least N300,000.
Read books on finance
If you’re serious about reaching your financial goals, then you must stay motivated and enlightened. There are a good number of books you can read to keep you informed about money, savings, investments, stocks, etc. Here’s a list of my top three, thank me later.
Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, You are a badass at making money by Jen Sincero
Invest in a mutual fund
A mutual fund is a pool of money from different individuals invested and managed by a Fund manager for profit. What distinguishes a mutual fund is what it invests in. For instance, we have the Money market mutual fund, equity mutual fund, real estate mutual fund, amongst others. There are many mutual fund managers in Nigeria today that offer investment opportunities for as low as N5000. Make sure to acquire information about interest rates and redemption policies before you invest.
Build a stock portfolio
Diversification is a key feature in investing as it helps to reduce risks. A stock portfolio means that you have invested in more than one kind of stock. This is to make sure that your risks are mitigated; if one stock is not performing as expected, others might. You should do your research before you decide which stocks are best for you to invest.
Find a profitable side hustle
The term “side hustle” is parlance for an extra stream of earned income. That skill or talent you have can be developed to earn you more money. Don’t dull in 2019, make a profit from your passion. Even if it’s not your passion, if it’s legal and profitable, you can make plans to monetise it.
Draw a budget
Budgeting can never be overemphasised. You can’t control what you don’t track. Make sure to keep track of your expenses every day and draw up budgets before you start spending. This will help you have more control over how much money goes out of your wallet or bank account. Several mobile apps can help you with this. It’s not enough to draw up the budget, be disciplined about keeping to it. You might have to say no to some hangouts or “Aso-Ebis” if you were not pre-informed. You don’t owe anyone an explanation besides “I cannot afford that now.”
Learn a new skill
About that side hustle, certain skills are currently on demand that can bring in some more cash for you. More interestingly, you can acquire most of them for free by taking courses online. Even if you have to pay, consider it an investment. By all means, keep learning and keep earning.
Get an insurance cover
No one likes to spend money on insurance, but it is one of the smartest things that you can do on your road to financial independence. If the unexpected circumstance happens, you do not have to spend the money out of your pocket. It is a hedge against an unforeseeable event, and it is a wise investment decision to get one
Join an Online Community
One of the best ways to push you further towards your goals is by learning and accountability, a community does this for you. Of course, Money Africa is one of the best personal finance platforms you can be a part of. Let us help you earn more, invest more and grow sustainable wealth.
Follow us on all social media platforms @moneyafrica.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.