The year-end is looming. The festive season is upon us. Which also means a time to look at the year in retrospect, and turn a new leaf or two.
With all kinds of goals coming into play, one common goal found across all planners and resolutions is finance.
As a student, or a young professional, getting swayed by the desires of today is natural. However, as a responsible adult, you need to know where to draw a line.
Also read: Finances, Academic, Personal Goals? What to focus on?
Seven Financial Goals to include in your planner 2023
- Making a budget… and sticking to it!
The first step in getting finances right is knowing where you are.
Make a list of all your expenses. Lay out a percentage of your income for various expenses – bills, EMIs, lifestyle, indulgence, etc. This is keeping in mind how much you need to save first. It will throw light on the areas you need to cut your spending in.
Sticking to a budget is paramount for working towards all other financial goals. Keep an excel sheet or use an app to track your expenses. Doing this diligently will bring down your excessive expenses drastically.
- Short-term debt repayment
Review your assets and liabilities. List your liabilities and take note of the debts to be repaid in the coming year.
An understanding of a debt repayment structure is a fabulous tool to plan your expenses beforehand and arrange resources if needed.
Let’s say a loan repayment is due in September 2023. Planning this payout well in advance with little savings every month will avoid a major shift in your finances in that month.
- Creating an emergency fund.
We cannot stress enough on this.
Now that you know your monthly expenses, you should primarily focus on creating an emergency fund.
From a long-term perspective, you need a contingency large enough to support you for three years. But to start with, you can first prep for 3 months, then 6 months, and keep adding to the pool gradually.
An emergency fund aims to save your wallet from any major disturbance and to sustain your lifestyle even in an economic crisis.
- Credit score management
The health of our wallets is initially indicated by our investments, and then by our credit score.
The #1 way to peacefully manage a strong credit score is knowing the pulse of your credits – long-term and short-term.
Relieve debts earlier than due. That will not only reduce the interest cost but also reflect positively on your credit score.
A high credit score means easy credit at a cheaper cost of borrowing.
- Plan for retirement
They say well-planned is half-done for a reason.
Envision the retirement you desire. Now, calculate the money you need to sustain that lifestyle without working for a day.
Now, calculate the amount you need to start investing now so that decades later, that sum gives you the returns summing up to the amount needed to sustain your retirement.
The earlier you start planning and working towards it, the more time and resources you have. So even a slow yet steady speed can yield a sufficient return without a high risk.
- Plan your investments
Make a list of all your long-term and short-term life goals. Eg. Higher education, wedding, business, asset purchase, etc.
Plan your investments parallel to these goals. Set timelines for them and time your investments accordingly. The first chunk of your income should be invested, and then used for other expenses.
This way, you can strike a balance between enjoying today, and saving for tomorrow.
- Invest in learning finance
Whether you belong to the field of finance or not, understanding finance is paramount for survival today.
Financial literacy is an underrated yet useful life skill. It is a survival kit.
It may not be the easiest reading but keep at it. Find a trustworthy advisor for yourself, whose approach aligns with yours.
The thing with finance is, one size does not fit all. Each one floats their own boat. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.
Also read: Thinking invest in insurance? Read before locking your money
The last word:
Now that we have spilled the goals, the question to address is: How to work on them?
Give each goal a timeline.
Keep it specific and measurable. Start small. Achieving small goals can boost your confidence for planning bigger ones.
Create accountability. Write your goals and make yourself responsible for them.
Tweak these goals as you wish. Financial goals are personal and that’s precisely their beauty. You can take what you want and leave the rest!
Now, get scribbling!
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