Our world as we know it, is changing – the environ-ment, the economics of nations, religion, social norms, etc. The fabric of our beliefs and values are threatened, the internet has made the world
so much smaller and information so much easier to obtain. We are constantly faced with change. One area vulnerable to change, is our financial capacity – Income and expenses. When there are economic changes such as in inflation, inter-est rates and currency rates, our earning capacity and ability to save is impacted.
The year 2016 has been fraught with several economic changes with falling oil prices, currency devaluations, the Greek debt issues, the threat of ISIS, job cuts and reduced earnings for governments and individuals. What then should be your response to these events and how can one prepare adequately? As we enter the last half of the year, you will need to assess your prog-ress and think of what you can do differently to ensure sustainable financial success.
Let me share with you, some important tips on where you should be focusing your efforts for financial suc-cess this year:
Develop a short, medium and long term plan for your personal and business finances
No matter how often you hear it said, it never loses its efficacy. Plan, Plan and plan again. The success of a plan is not so much in your having the plan, but the discipline it takes to make one and follow it through. There will be challenges and setbacks along the way, but having a good idea of where you want to be, helps to keep you focused and hopeful even in the midst of setbacks. Have personal goals such as a decision to save N2mil-lion by year end and business goals such as increasing your customer numbers by 25% by December 2016.
Assess your financial goals and the plans you have executed so far.
Review your expenses.
Now is a good time to begin planning on reducing ex-cess and needless spending. Calculate your monthly expenses and review areas you can cut back or eliminate without totally disrupting your lifestyle.
Shore up your savings…… start TODAY!
Without savings, you cannot invest. You MUST have seed money or savings to start a business, buy land or enrol for a programme. If you have spent every naira you made this year on clothes, holidays, cars etc, now is the time to take corrective action and set yourself on a new path. So what can you do?
Join an Esusu group in your office, school, church or family and discipline yourself to make the monthly con-tributions. You will be glad you did at the end of the day. Start an investment club yourself- get 5 or 6 of your friends and colleagues and commit to saving a certain amount for 6months. It is a good start. By end of 2015 , you will have enough to start an investment account Set up a standing order on your account for the next 12months and put away a decent sum each month. By the end of 2015, you will be surprised at how much you have saved.
Protect your assets:
Take out an insurance policy- Car, Health, Household, Life, and Education. If you have saved enough money to buy a car or some other asset, why would you not protect it? Ensure you have a valid insurance policy for your assets. It may look like a needless expense now, but it always pays off in the event of a loss. Key policies to have are on the Car, home and health. Life insurance is a mandatory requirement by law for all employees, so you should be covered if you are in paid employment.
Maintain a disciplined approach to saving and spending.
Remember it is not how much you save when you start, but the acquisition of sound financial habits that will give you a secure and stable future.
Get a Pension Account
You prepare for retirement from your first working day.
If you don’t have a pension account with a Pension Fund Administrator and have not been saving some-thing towards your retirement , please talk to a retire-ment specialist OR your personal banker and set one up immediately.
So, take time out to think through your resources and goals for 2015 and work out a realistic financial plan.
Seek relevant information from experts and be pre-pared to take corrective measures in the event of a downward trend in your plan. Ultimately, remain fo-cused on your budget and plans.
Have a fulfilling 2016.