Have you got some dreams, plans and financial ambition? 2021 is the year you will make it happen. Wave goodbye to 2020 and welcome in your best year yet.
2020 has been a tough year. It’s felt like a hard, long slog through a quagmire of one bad thing after another. But 2021 doesn’t have to be the same. While there is lots of things beyond our control, there is also a lot we can still manage and plan for. With a bit of hope and a heap of strategy, you can make 2021 your best financial year, ever.
- Invest in you
The pandemic resulted in a reshuffle of employment. People lost jobs, started working from home, or changed their roles. Very few people have the same situation today that they entered 2020 in. The result is that people are really looking at their lives and rethinking what they want. As we enter 2021, there is no better time to make positive changes that align you closer to your goals.
This often means investing in yourself. Whether it’s an investment of time or money, you have the ability to change your life. There are free courses in almost everything, whether it’s learning another language, teaching yourself how to cook, getting fit and strong, or any other skill. Or, you can invest in education and go back to school—it’s never too late.
If you do it now, in a year you’ll be amazed how far you’ve come.
Budgeting feels like a dirty word, but it shouldn’t have to be. Create a budget. You will probably be surprised at how much money you waste; seeing it there in black and white can be very confronting.
Make this budget work for you. If you need tight dollar controls so you have boundaries, make them. If you need flexibility so you don’t feel like you’re stuck, create a plan that changes as much as you.
However you do it, it should give you an amount for a savings scheme of some sort.
- Saving and investing your money
Investing seems like an intimidating thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Speak to Sam Kodi about the options for you; thinking about putting money into a managed fund is a very wise idea. These funds require a minimal investment from you, no specific knowledge in shares or stocks, but offer the opportunity for good returns over the long term.
Alternatively, you can leave your money in a bank account where it gets .01% interest and sits like a lump, not working for you. Your choice.
- Sort out your KiwiSaver
How much are you putting into your KiwiSaver each year? How much do you actually need for retirement? Are you contributing enough, or would you be better off investing more? Or, should you cut back on KiwiSaver and start your own retirement fund? A financial planner can definitely help you assess this and make some really good choices.
- Find your why
Do you know what motivates people? It’s never truly about the money. Business owners often say it’s the freedom they get from their own company. Some people love having spare time or money to pursue what they are passionate about (ask any horse or boat owner about this). Maybe what motivates you is supporting your family or community.
Find your why, and see your motivation to succeed skyrocket.
- Set a goal
Tell me what you want, what you really really want. And I bet it isn’t that you want to have lots of money in the bank and no debt. You probably want to retire at 50. Or to spend more time travelling. Or you want to stop working so you can look after the grandkids. Or you want a boat.
Setting a financial goal, something to aim towards, helps you stick with the measures needed to get there. Suddenly, paying off a loan faster is much more do-able and easy to stick with now you have a goal and plan in mind.
- Have milestones you can celebrate
These goals are often long, long term. If you’re 30, you’ve got 20 years before you get to retire at 50. To keep you motivated and enthusiastic, set up milestones you can reach.
- Paying off a specific debt
- Hitting a savings target
- Having enough money in the bank that you don’t have to worry about paying the bills
These steps will help you get to your targets, with small wins along a long journey.
- Cut out the things that don’t work
We don’t mean you throw the dog out into the street because he’s not paying rent.
Instead, this is an incredibly personal set of choices from you. It could mean downsizing your home, or selling a bunch of physical clutter. It could be making better decisions around spending and stopping your online shopping. Throwing out old clothes you don’t wear. Stopping your KFC addiction. Stopping a toxic relationship.
While this seems unrelated to your finances, it’s about taking control of your life and making great choices. It frees up brain space. It gives you emotional peace. That feeling of clarity can help you achieve so much more in your life.
- Increase your income
There are a few ways you can make more money, and not all options work for everyone. Whether it’s a rental property, investments, setting up a side hustle, or gunning for a better paying job, find a way to increase your income. If you need ideas, a financial planner can help you identify where you can make it count.
- Automate everything
If you automate as much as possible in your life around your finances, you’ll save money, and free up a bunch of brain space.
Setting up automatic bill payments mean you always get prompt payment discounts and you’ll never miss a payment again. From power to rates, you can pay everything on auto.
Your KiwiSaver payment is automatic, and you can set up retirement scheme savings or investments that similarly take money from your wages before you even see it.
No thinking, you won’t even notice the money has gone until you get your annual statement and realise how much you’ve made in savings!
While these ten steps are all fully achievable and you can implement these yourself, if you need assistance, Sam Kodi can help. Getting financial planning assistance is fantastic for short term and long term financial freedom, and can be the voice of experience you need to start your 2021 off with good intentions—and the ability to back those intentions with actions that create results.