WE would all love to start the New Year with a big raise. But that’s not the only way to increase your cash flow. If one of your resolutions is to improve your financial situation this year, consider these seven ways to make it happen.
Know your starting point
If you have already got an established budget that you evaluate regularly, you have this step covered.
But if you are like most, an annual checkup isn’t a bad idea. Review the money you have coming in and break down your spending.
If you’ve been tracking your transactions, you are ahead of the game. If not, start tracking them now.
Review at least three months of spending history to get a real feel for your cash flow.
Emergencies tend to be costly, but they are also often avoidable. Rather than ignoring the grinding sound your car is making or the cough that now seems to be on the verge of pneumonia, make sure to give your appliances— and yourself—regular preventative care.
Make a list of the appointments you should make (mechanic, plumber, doctor) and get those on your calendar ASAP.
In addition to preventative maintenance, you should protect yourself and your possessions with the necessary insurance.
It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but when you need it, you will be glad you’ve got it.
You should have health insurance, life insurance, and car insurance to make sure you’re fully covered.
Set up an emergency fund
Despite the best preventative measures, unexpected expenses still arise. So, most experts recommend that you have three to six months living expenses saved in case of unforeseen financial needs.
Yes, that can be quite a sum to stash, but put away what you can—even sh20,000 per week adds up over time.
Figure out what you would need to save to feel financially confident in any situation, and set your savings plan accordingly.
Make a plan to conquer your debt
If you need help getting out of debt, you can ask your bank or credit union for recommendations.
Get a second opinion
When it comes to your financial future, especially your retirement plan and investment options—it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from an expert.
Many banks and credit unions offer this service free to their account holders, but you can also go with a trusted independent advisor.
Set a fun savings goal
Finally, make your money work for you—so that you can enjoy it. Save up for the new computer you have been admiring or a vacation to reward yourself for another year of hard work.
Splurges keep your budget from being boring and make you more motivated to cut costs elsewhere.