At this time of year, into a new tax year, many people make financial resolutions.
There are many factors which will allow you to be financially well-organised.
Things such as mortgages, pensions, investments, insurance, and so on, need to be well arranged. I’m not going to talk about these things here (nor am I qualified so to do).
Yet there are some basic things which you can do which many people overlook… because they are so simple… and simple to forget. Here are just 16 financial basics.
1. Have a financial independence fund set up into which you make regular deposits which means that one day you will be financially independent (knowing what the goal is for this account is essential).
2. Set up an opportunity fund into which you make regular deposits which means you will have a lump sum available to take advantages of opportunities as they arise. There is nothing worse than seeing a brilliant business chance go begging through lack of funds.
3. Save at least 10 percent of all you earn, and live on the rest.
4. Have lines of credit available (but not used) for real “life and death” emergencies. Many businesses wished they had secured such lines in the good times before the previous recession when many went bust for relatively small amounts.
5. Budget… Draw up a spreadsheet for personal and business expenditure. Note down everything you spend for a month. You may be surprised. Is it spending, or investing? Where are the drains?! Whatever the result, you can take action in full knowledge of where you really are, rather than guessing based on where you thought you were. If you have been wasting lots… great, you now know and you can now do something about it.
6. Coins in a jar… on the left hand side of your desk place at least one of every coin of the realm in a dish / jar.
7. Reduce spending on impulse. Build an account (a Treat account) for big purchases / treats. Let the account grow to a predetermined level and then allow yourself to spend it. When you want to make an impulse purchase like this, “buy it” in your mind, have the shop keep it, and return after three days to actually buy it. This removes the impulse element and allows you to remove any guilt over such a big purchase. It’s a decision rather than an impulse.
8. Credit has become the norm, and yet so much money is wasted through poor credit deals, high charges and interest rates. Do you have any “Daft Debt” (or Crap Credit?!). Reorganise this.
9. Use cash instead of cards for shopping… watch the difference in how you feel handing over the cash as opposed to putting it on a card, even for your grocery shopping. This is an awareness exercise. When we use cards, a small part of our mind thinks we aren’t paying! Time to get real.
10. Always turn a purchase into an investment by buying good quality… the best you can. If it’s worth getting, it’s worth getting the best.
11. Take your financial planning seriously. Take professional advice from people who really care about you, know and understand your goals, and know their business.
12. Remember with money, the more you chase it as an end in itself, the more it runs away from you. It’s not the goal. It’s a tool to help you achieve goals, and to allow you to function effortlessly. But it’s not the goal.
13. Review your finances monthly at your Monthly Planning Meeting… whether in business or just your personal funds. And do a full financial review at least annually.
14. Build your savings and reserves. This will give you immense inner confidence.
15. Remember there is plenty of money out there. You earn it and deserve it as long as you offer value. De-serve = “of service”. So to gain more money, look at what service you can give. Think abundance. Imagine money being attracted to you through your services, products and your value to the world.
16. Create a Monthly Financial Overview to get a quick snapshot of where you are financially. The message is simple… know where you are.