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10 Financial Resolutions for 2017

Published by MoneyMax.ph  | Kristel Silang – December 26th, 2016

Financial Resolutions for New Year

What can you say about your financial state last 2016?

The answer to this question can help you get an overview of what you want to achieve financially this 2017 based on actual personal instances and figures. Did you hit your savings goals? Did you decrease your credit card debt or loan payments? Did you wish that you achieved more last year?

Reflecting on the past year and taking action can help you reach your financial goals for 2017 with more objectivity and effectiveness.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

Seat sales? Sales on every corner of the mall at all months of the year? That’s what gets most of us to make impulse buys because we think we will be getting a great deal from it.

A great way to leverage these kinds of savings as well as satisfying that adrenaline of getting the most bang for your buck is to plan your impulse buys.

How to do it: 

Set a budget you are willing to spend for leisure for the whole year. Plan your destinations in advance with the time frames so when you get hold of a seat sale, you can gauge if it fits the plan you made for the year. If yes, go for it! If not, check out other couriers on their seat sales.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

When you find an interesting product or service, they usually give you a one-month, no commitment FREE subscription. The operative word being free, we are lured into getting on free subscriptions. The psychology behind this is beyond the utility of the product or service, we develop an attachment to any possession we have over time. This is why most people give an overestimate of selling price when selling their pre-loved items.

When the one month passes by and we are prompted to subscribe to continue using the service, we will be willing to pay for the service which we voluntarily signed up for. We may lose sight if we are really utilizing these products or services over time. Most subscriptions are also low on cost so we have this thinking of “Ay, Php100 per month lang naman ang subscription. Ayos lang yan.” 

How to do it:  

Schedule one hour within this month to assess all the recurring subscriptions you have and ask yourself:

  • Can I live one year without this subscription?
  • Is there a cheaper way for me to obtain the product or service I got from this subscription?
  • How many times this month did I check or use the product or service I am getting from this subscription?
  • Does this subscription help me earn money by providing me resources or giving me inspiration to do my work?

By answering these questions, you should be able to gauge whether these subscriptions are worth keeping and sustaining.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

Even the most determined saver can get busy with life and miss putting money in his savings. You can also miss putting in savings when you feel obligated to make a sudden purchase before even stepping in the bank to deposit your payment to the other account.

Automating your savings can help you avoid unnecessary purchases and save you time because you do not have to do it manually.

How To Do It:

Sign up for an online account with your bank so you can set-up an automated savings plan. You can also coordinate with your HR Department if your company has a savings plan that you can use so you’ll save money while working in the company.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

Thinking about saving money is just the tip of the iceberg. Making it happen is where the challenge lies, and identifying how much your target savings is the next step.

Knowing an exact amount will make this concrete and also make you realize how much you need to put aside per month to hit this goal by the end of the year.

How To Do It:

The amount you will identify should be based on your long-term goals. Is this for a new car or house? For an additional investment in your portfolio? This should also be a realistic goal. A good amount to start with is 10% of your net income. You can increase this over time as your income increases.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

It’s not common to read financial literacy books for leisure when you are trying to relax from a long day’s work but it will help you get closer to your financial goals for 2017.

This can be from anywhere from general personal finance to a specific topic in personal finance that you want to know about.

How To Do It:

This depends on your pace and schedule. You can block off time periods during the day to read 10 pages per day or schedule one day to read the whole book. What is important is that you gain progress on getting new information and you apply your learnings on improving your personal finances.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

You can add value to your everyday social media break by following financial experts who can give you tips, share motivational quotes, and help you keep going on your journey to financial freedom.

How To Do It:

Here are a few personal finance experts that you can follow. You can set this to “See First” so when you log in at Facebook, you can see their posts at the top of your News Feed:

Financial Resolutions for New Year

Yes, you have an emergency fund. The question is: Is it really ready for when an emergency hits you right this minute? While this might seem negative to think about it before it actually happens, remember that this is the main reason why you are saving up money for an emergency fund. It is not for your big leisure purchases or for those sudden sales in the mall that makes you compelled to spend more than you should.

How To Do It:

Assess every quarter if the full amount of your emergency fund can support you to any of the following emergencies that will call for moving it:

  • Hospitalization of yourself or any other family member for 5 days or more
  • Losing your job tomorrow
  • Your car totally breaking down
  • Needing to have an international trip because of an emergency with a family member abroad

Financial Resolutions for New Year

For most Filipinos, this is the time after work when they rest and take a break from work. This may also be the time to help you get additional income which may not be immediate but gradually being built up.

Successful individuals may stop the work once they step out of their offices but they do not stop learning and improving their skills so they are at the optimum condition when they get back on the hustle. This could also spare you from spending money by going out with your friends or officemates out of whim instead of planned get-togethers.

How To Do It:

List all the activities you do on this time after work (which may vary depending on your work schedule) aside from getting ready for bed and going to sleep. Do any of these activities help you grow a side business, make you learn new ideas or skills that may get you promoted at your job, or give you more information on building up your finances?

If it’s a yes to any of those income-growing possibilities, then you’re on the right track. If all your activities didn’t fit into any of them, it’s time to identify at least one activity that you enjoy on that free time that you can add to start achieving your goals at work or on your finances.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

Insurance is a financial topic that isn’t top of mind when Filipinos talk about personal finance. While this may be an unnecessary cost for most of us, this actually helps us save more money when the need arises based on our coverage.

If you are the breadwinner of the family, it may be time for you to get life insurance. If you bought your car 5 years ago, maybe it’s time to re-visit if your car insurance policy still gives you the best coverage at a value-for-your-money price.

Having the right insurance can help you avoid spending a big amount of money in case of an accident or death of a loved one. Cliche as it may seem, prevention is always better than cure.

How To Do It:

Seek the help of a Registered Financial Planner (RFP) who can help you make informed decisions on which types of insurance you should get. Do not go into buying insurance and paying your contributions every month without talking to the experts and researching on the details so you don’t end up buying the policy that’s not suited to your actual needs.

Financial Resolutions for New Year

Most of us love the idea of excess since this validates our financial capability and our satisfaction that we have something tangible that came from the money we worked for but in reality, we do not need 10 pairs of workout shoes or 20 pairs of heels so we can go on with our everyday lives.

How To Do It:

Why not try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment? Hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. You can also apply this to other clothing items such as shoes, accessories, bags, and more.

Through these financial resolutions and the determination to do them and follow through throughout the whole year, you should be able to reach higher financial heights by the end of the year and build great financial habits that you will own for the years to come.