It’s that time of the year again when motivation is at an all-time high, so we set New Years resolutions for ourselves (hope you’re keeping up with them so far). In order for us to take steps towards achieving financial freedom, it is important that financial goals are part of our resolutions. Here are 5 simple financial goals that will help you get closer to financial freedom in 2018:
Spend less than you earn
Yes, I realise everyone knows this rule yet we find it hard to stick to it! Living in a world of mass consumerism and instant gratification also doesn’t help. The simplest way to ensure that you spend less than you earn is to keep a budget, be aware of your income and expenses and continuously set limits on those expenses. You can click here to download our budgeting worksheet, which will help you solve this problem in a practical manner.
Related: How to design a budget
Always pay yourself first
Repeat after me:
Paying yourself first means you’re taking care of your future self before you take care of your present self. Practically speaking, it means if you get paid today, the first payment you make should be towards your savings and/or investment account.
Make sure to start practicing this when you get your first paycheck this January. To make this process easier, you should automate it by setting up a standing order between the account you receive income and your savings and/or investment accounts.
Build your emergency fund
Life can be very unpredictable, especially in a country like Nigeria. In order to reduce the impact of unexpected events, it’s crucial for you to build an emergency fund. Building your emergency fund should be one of your savings goals for this 2018. This emergency fund should be made up of 3-6 months of income. To figure out how many months of income you should save you can use the framework we came up with here.
Related: How to Build your emergency fund
Invest, Invest, Invest!
If you haven’t started investing already then in 2018 you must begin to invest. Investing is a way to accumulate assets which start to generate income for you i.e. your money begins to work for you.
In 2017 alone, the Nigerian Stock Exchange returned 42%, making it one of the best stock markets in the world. However, I must warn that investing in the stock market directly is not advisable for beginners, it requires a lot of research, financial knowledge and luck. If you’re new to investing, the best course of action is to invest in mutual funds. We have compiled a log of all the funds offered by 4 top Investment firms in Nigeria, simply click here to download it.
Please be aware that your capital is at risk when you invest so make sure you’re knowledgeable about the assets you choose to invest and seek guidance from a professional.
Plan a regular financial date night
“WTH is a financial date night?!” you ask. This simply means a dedicated night where you discuss everything to do with your personal finance with your spouse/partner/best friend or any person of your choice.
This is important because it’s very easy to be derailed from our financial goals. Having a support system in place will not only help you recover and get back on track but will ensure that you have someone to celebrate your wins with. So find someone you wish to have this financial date night with and agree on the frequency and exact date of your date night.
As you can see, these financial goals are simple and easily achievable. You just have to be willing to put in the work, make the necessary changes in your life and be consistent. So, are you ready to take a giant step towards achieving financial freedom?
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