We are already more than halfway through the year and fast approaching the months that just breeze by us bringing the year to a close. 2020 has been a lot of things and brought a lot of unprecedented situations our way, this has shifted a lot of goals for the year and for some pushed most of their goals to the back burner. I believe that we can and must make the best out of 2020. Now is actually the best time to revisit your goals so you can still make them count at the end of the year. Remember the best time to start something was yesterday, the next best time is now. Don’t give up now, you can still make it happen.
With all that’s going on now, it’s understandable that one of the goal areas you may have struggled with the most is your finances. We all started the year with grand plans for savings and investments. Then COVID happened and most of us moved to survival mode, forgetting about all the plans and discipline we had put in place to make things happen. But guess what? It’s time to bring your financial goals back on the table and start working out how to make them happen!
For the next couple of weeks, I will like to take you through a journey that brings you closer to your financial goals. I am going to use my dear friend ‘Jane’ to illustrate our lessons.
Jane has been working for about 10 years at a multinational company. She’s fortunate to earn a very good salary, so she’s really had no financial gaps to cover. But the thing is she’s been dreaming about starting a Master’s programme for a while at an Ivy league school preferably. At the start of the year she decided this was the year she would start saving toward this goal and she’d given herself a target to save 50% of the money required to fund her Master’s and cover the balance next year. Good idea, right?
But beyond the idea and the target Jane didn’t have a plan in place.
So, when she saw the jewellery, she bought it, she took the trips before the lockdowns, impressed her friends and family with expensive gifts, gave out loans that will likely be bad debts, maintained her lifestyle of meals out, buying take outs, upgrading her wardrobe amongst other things. Each month she planned to start saving the next month and now we are in July and Jane still has not started her savings for her Master’s programme.
The month of July is here and Jane has realized her mistakes and time lost, but as the true fighter she is she has made new plans, no more shopping, no more take outs, employed financial instruments that whisk her savings away once she gets paid and gives her limited access to them and has created accountability circles around her. All good ideas, and all things she should have done as soon as she set her target for herself at the start of the year, but the next best time is now and I am rooting for Jane’s success, but we have some lessons to learn from Jane
You see, putting a tangible plan in place early enough would have helped her see very clearly:
1. How realistic her target was in the first place? There’s no point trying to save an amount that cripples you in the process.
2. The specific adjustments she could make in her spending patterns early enough to get to her goal
3. What options she could explore for investments so the money she was setting aside would gain some interest, also how much to move to foreign currency given the devaluation which made her program much more expensive in Naira terms.
4. If she needed to partner with others to help raise the funds e.g. join an investment club.
5. How she could create additional sources of income beyond her salary
6. What sort of financial education she needed to acquire and what tools/apps she could use to help her achieve her target.
Join me over the next few weeks where we’ll look in more detail at achieving your financial goals. Don’t wait until December 31st or January 1st to start planning your 2021 financial goals. To help you start start now and start strong, click on the link below and spend one minute responding to the questions. It’ll be well worth your while.
Here is your first step. Click here.