5 Financial Goals You Can Achieve By December
Ever wonder what steps you could take right now that would help you get better control of your money despite how the pandemic may have affected your finances? We may be halfway through the year but that doesn’t mean our plans have to take a backseat or it’s already too late.
We’re more than halfway through the year but that doesn’t mean you can no longer set news goals to feel good about before a new calendar year rolls in. They don’t have to be ambitiously difficult, given that we only have a few more months to work on them.
These 5 financial goals are achievable in less than a year and they are also fundamental to your financial health.
1. Start an emergency fund
The keyword here is to “start.” You don’t need to have a huge amount of money by the time we reach the tail end of the year. Since that’s still a few months away, though, it’s not impossible to still save a good sum of money. However, it must be a realistic figure.
₱20,000 for starters or even ₱10,000. These figures may not be that much but it’s already a significant amount to provide you a sense of gratification and inspire you to save more.
This is one single thing you can do right this moment, and you don’t need to have a huge amount of money to start.
Realistically speaking, emergency funds don’t really have to be x number of times your salary. You can set aside as much money as you want as long as you feel that it is sufficient to cover your financial needs in times when you need it. You do have to reach a minimum amount of money to officially call it an emergency fund – at least 3 months worth of your monthly expenses.
To get this amount, calculate all your expenses in a month, and multiply the result by how many months you want to save for. The number of months for an emergency fund differs for everyone, so think about how much money in the bank you’d feel secure with. For example, if your expenses in a typical month are ₱20,000, and you feel that saving 3 months’ worth of expenses is the right buffer for you, you’ll need to save ₱60,000.
2. New beginnings: a new job or an additional source of income
Since 2020 hasn’t been as optimistic as we all wanted it to be, at the very least, we can look at it as a year of new beginnings, even if we’re already halfway through it. If you’ve lost your job due to the recession brought by the pandemic, make it a goal to find a new one. That’s already a goal worth achieving, especially with how this year is turning out to be.
Finding a job
With the tough economic climate right now, the goal is to find a job that will at least pay your bills. Finding one that aligns with your passion is already a bonus.
There are various opportunities to establish a side hustle nowadays, most especially on the internet. You can either start your own business online or find freelancing opportunities. If you don’t know where to start, here are some resources to help you.
3. Settle (some if not all of) your debts
Safe to say, 2020 is a year of survival for many of us. Keeping yourself afloat despite the economic recession is already a feat itself. Managing to settle all your financial obligations is a luxury for many, and if the same thing resonates with you, make that one of your financial goals this year.
Part of getting back on your feet is basically getting your finances back on track, and this includes settling all the bills or bad debts you may have accumulated during the lockdown period or even before that.
There really is no shortcut or trick to pay off all of your debts, you just have to continue making money, keep track of your expenses, and manage your money better. While there isn’t any magic trick towards becoming debt-free, there are methods that can help you reposition your approach in dealing with your financial situation better.
We break it down for you in this article:
4. Improve or establish a good credit record
The quarter-long lockdown seized businesses from operating and left many grasping at straws to stay above water. Missed payments were simply inevitable because people weren’t earning enough or any at all. And for those who have debts even before the pandemic, the dire situation can easily bring down anyone’s credit on a downward spiral.
Now that the economy is gradually recovering, make it a goal to not just earn money but to also set your finances straight.
Iron out your credit history with your banks or start building a good credit record. Contrary to the popular belief that credit cards often lead to more debts, it can actually help you build your credit if you just develop the discipline to control impulse spending.
Assuming that you’re not swamped with credit card debts, you can build good credit by paying for your purchases with your credit card and immediately settling it. Don’t wait for the due date to settle all the payments you’ve made with your card. Another tip to remember is to only pay for small purchases with your credit card, avoid big-ticket items because most often than not, you’ll be tempted to split those payments into installments.
In a nutshell, treat your credit card as a revolving credit for your small purchases.
5. Get an insurance plan
If there’s one important lesson we can glean from this pandemic, it’s that we should always be prepared for the unexpected. Insurance is pretty much the answer to life’s uncertainties – you have health insurance for medical emergencies, life insurance for the inevitable, and your government insurance like SSS and PhilHealth as a basic safety net.
We’ll never know when these come in handy, if you currently have existing insurance plans, make sure you see it through until the end. If you don’t have one, make it a goal to finally get a policy, because the earlier you get one the better. Not only will you enjoy lower premiums, but you’ll also finish it earlier and you can have more time to plan ahead for your changing insurance needs.
Meanwhile, make sure you also keep your monthly contributions for your Philhealth and SSS up to date. These government insurance plans may not be as rewarding as private insurance, but you can never have too much help or insurance when the need calls for it.
We’re halfway through the year, and 2020 hasn’t exactly been a kind year. Despite the financial whirlwind that it has brought upon everyone, it still isn’t too late to achieve some financial milestones before a new year rolls in. And besides, 2020 is all about surviving and getting back your inner peace, so those big-ticket and million-dollar goals will have to take a back seat.
Financial wellness, after all, isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. You build it up slowly and carefully, like how slow and steady athletes win a marathon. — Source: Marc Adrian / imoney.ph