Smart Money Practices to Help You Reach Your Financial Goals
By Faith Shalom
If your financial goal is to increase your wealth or save for a purpose, then this article is for you. The skill you need to master your finances might just be a few money habits. I have put together a short list of things you should try to help you achieve your financial goals.
Automate your savings
An easy way to fatten your savings without overthinking it is to automate your account deposits. For instance, setting up a direct debit payment from your salary account to your investment/savings account) is as easy as ABC. This minimizes your propensity to dive into funds that would otherwise have been channelled to your savings account and it creates some level of financial discipline-keyword being “discipline”.
Fortunately, most financial institutions with mobile applications allow direct-debit instructions. When money is pulled automatically from your account, you realize it is easy to adjust your spending accordingly.
Set your goals in figures
One reason why people don’t get what they want is because, most times, they don’t know what they want. Take a moment to write out your goals, put them in actual numbers and, like good goal-setting should be, be realistic and yet challenge yourself.
Invest your money
The benefits of investing can never be over emphasized because it is a means of earning passive income. It may seem like investing is for the rich; however, modern online investment accounts have made it possible to start small and make flexible contributions (weekly, monthly or yearly) into your investment account.
To achieve your goals, consider setting up separate accounts such as a savings or investment account. All accrued interest can sit untouched and continue to grow.
Additionally, different investments can be set up to achieve different investment objectives. It’s best to match the right product with the right objective-speak to a professional about this.
Save unexpected income
If savings proves tasking due to monthly recurrent expenditures, consider investing all unexpected income. Rather than impulse spending which always unsettles the mind as it is hardly ever accounted for, save it for a pre – determined goal. Avoid emotional spending.
Ditch unnecessary daily expenses
You could save a bit of money over time by eliminating your most frequent expenses or, at least, switching to cheaper alternatives.
For example, a daily cup of coffee that costs N1,000 amounts to N7000 a week which translates to N28,000 a month.
However, switching to “Do-it-Yourself”/home-made could save you a significant amount and boost your savings.
You could also start by identifying these daily expenses, cut/limit those expenses and direct them towards an investment account. Consider making your meals at home and pre-packing them, etc.
Rethink your re-current bills
Some bills are non-negotiable, however some are. The most frequent being your internet subscription, cable, and mobile phone credits. The current level of competition from network and cable providers affords you the opportunity to cut back or seek cheaper alternatives e.g. swap phone calls for data based calls, text less and use instant messaging more. If you have a “9 to 5” job and rarely get a chance to watch cable, consider cancelling your subscription or choosing a lower bouquet with just your preferred channels. Another bill to watch are your bank charges. Take a moment to check your bank statement thoroughly at least once a month.
Additionally, consider keeping your daily operational funds in a savings account to ensure you earn interest.
Make yourself accountable
You need a partner that you feel comfortable sharing your goals with, someone that can keep you in check from time to time. When choosing this partner, choose someone whose financial goals are similar to yours, Plan low-cost activities today; Check in regularly; Encourage yourselves if you slip up.
Review your finances regularly
Set aside some time regularly to review your finances and track your progress. Take note of how much you have grown; or how much more you should put in. Tracking progress will keep you motivated and inform you of slip ups, if they are any.
Building lasting wealth takes time and requires dedication, hard work and commitment. It requires smart and strategic work. Using the habits listed above, develop a plan that works well for you and your lifestyle. Like any good thing, consistency is the watch word. N10,000 monthly over 10 years comes up to N1,200,000, excluding interest. What does that tell you? Every little adds up.
Faith Shalom is a Retail Business Team at Vetiva Capital Management Limited