As we near the end of the first month of the second half of 2013, have you figured out if you’ve done better than you 2012 self, money-wise?
“Failing to plan is as good as planning to fail”. Indeed, it’s a cliché for something — going out into the world without a clear set of goals to follow is a hard and painful journey.
If you haven’t planned out your financial year, then take these quick and easy steps to arm yourself for 2013:
1. What do you want or need in your life this year?
Write down the things you intend to achieve for the rest 2013. A car to replace your hour-long bus commute, an apartment, a gadget for your small business, that trip to Europe which you’ve bucket-listed since you were seven, the list goes on. Big or small, as long as you see yourself in it within the year, list it down.
2. Which would I want to focus on?
We all have lots of things we wanted to do but of course, you cannot do them all at once. But one of the keys in making them happen is prioritizing which one should go first. Evaluate yourself which of the things do you really need first: that shiny new SUV or a house.
3. Weigh your current financial status.
Once you’ve determined which of you goals are your priorities, align them with your current income. Ask yourself these questions: Can my current income achieve my goals? Have I paid off my debts? Will I expect a new expense for the year? Is what I’m spending realistically aligned with what I am making?
4. What can I do to make it happen?
Take a look at the different ways in which you can achieve your plans. If saving more money means you have to get up early to prepare a packed lunch, or driving to the office less often to save on gas, write them down. If you’re on the more advanced level, you can look into investment instruments such as stocks, mutual funds and UITFs, as long as you arm yourself with ample knowledge and shield yourself from scams.
No matter how absurd, just as long as it may lead you to your goals, consider it.
5. When do I intend to achieve these goals?
One of the important factors that will affect your decisions is the amount of time you have to fulfill your decisions. Be wary of the deadlines you set on yourself. If it’s not doable, better to set a more realistic time frame.
6. Start today.
Not tomorrow or next month, there’s no better time to start than now.
Photo used under Creative Commons from geishaboy500