By Tokiso TKay Nthebe
There is nothing quite tiring as the monotony of ‘New Year, New Me’ and ‘New Year’s resolutions’, especially if they are not backed with action. In essence, many people follow the hype but seldom do the work required to achieve their resolutions such as improving their finances. Sadly, it is the season for it, where many conversations or updates on social media will bombard us with posts and hashtags such as ‘there’s no place for toxicity in 2024’ ‘I am happy to be back at the gym’, hashtags such as #fetchmybody or ‘I am smashing my financial goals this year!’. What we often witness are short-lived intentions, goals or resolutions where people fall off the bandwagon a few weeks into the new year.
Before you call me all sorts of names about hating on resolutions, please allow me to explain.
For years, I have been an advocate for New Year’s resolutions and still believe in them. I learnt very quickly, however, that many people pretend to have resolutions or financial goals because it is the trendy thing to have, say or do. Having resolutions and being intentional are two different things. As with many blog posts that I write, the goal is always to empower you to do something, act and pursue your financial goals.
In this blog post, I share three tips to help you navigate the money adventures and be intentional about your New Year’s resolutions, especially the financial resolutions. So, where to start?
Be intentional about improving your financial well-being.
A great starting point is to be intentional about improving your financial well-being, enough with the ‘New Year, New Me’ lies we tell ourselves. It is time for ‘I am prioritising my financial health in 2024’ and being intentional about doing the work to improve my finances. If we are being honest, being broke is not cool, especially in 2024. You need to be deliberate about improving your financial well-being, which may require making difficult and uncomfortable changes or sacrifices to achieve this goal. What does financial well-being look like for you?
Be honest with yourself and stay in your financial lane.
Secondly, I would like to encourage you to be honest with yourself and answer the following question, ‘Are your finances in good shape?’
It is time to stop lying to yourself about your financial situation. If it is bad, deal with it and stop avoiding the situation, confront the situation head-on and be accountable to yourself.
How can you go about doing this?
- Download your 6-12 months bank statements and review them.
- Review your outstanding loans and formulate a plan to repay them.
- Check your savings, investments and retirement balances. Do you have enough, or do you need to do more?
- Ask yourself what you did with your money, do you like the spending patterns, or do you need to do better?
Be honest about where you are and do something about it. To achieve this, it may require that you stay in your financial lane and avoid situations that derail your plans. If you cannot afford it, stop pretending like you can. If you need to stay home and not attend certain events, brunches or outings do it, at least until you can afford it. In 2024, be comfortable with saying NO to invitations or situations and focus on improving your financial well-being.
Stop talking and start doing.
Too many people discuss their plans to improve their finances but with no action or solid plan. In 2024, can you do less talk and more doing? Focus on the low-hanging fruits such as opening that savings, emergency fund or investment account. Pay off that loan, make extra payments towards the loan from R100, increase your retirement contributions and book that consultation with a financial planner. Be intentional about acting and getting things done in 2024.
As 2024 quickly picks up momentum and accelerates, I hope that you prioritise yourself and your finances this year. Where help is required, ask for help from a professional, do the work and exercise kindness. Remember that money is an adventure, enjoy the ride!
Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2024!