Working all year round, receiving a salary every month and yet still struggling financially is a common occurrence for many workers. If this was you last year, it is time to make a few changes.
Financial resolutions are such a year-round struggle that they are hard to keep. In most cases, if you do not plan well, you are likely to go back to your old extravagant ways by the third or fourth month of the year.
Jenny Epit Okaka, a human resource personnel at KCB bank, thinks that not having a budget is one of the laziest things one can do. “In this day and age, as long as someone earns, it is important that they have a budget that will guide their expenditure and saving.
“This enables you to know how you managed your resources in a particular period of time and where you need to improve.”
She says: “Whether at home or work, have a budget for everything and ensure to stick to it. This will protect you from spontaneous buying and increase your saving potential. Also, remember to separate personal expenditure from business.”
Set realistic goals
Okaka also remarks that change is a gradual process but when you aim to make a big financial change in a short time, you may be disappointed.
“It may be exciting in the first place to save a lot of money in a very short time but you need to make reasonable goals in a time frame that is workable depending on your saving and spending targets and how much you earn.”
Checking progress of your goals
It is one thing to set a target and another to reach it. You need to schedule a regular reminder depending on how often you want to reach your goal.
If it is a long term project for instance, have a quarterly check to see how you are progressing and where you can improve in order to achieve your goal.
According to Gerald Mukasa, a businessman in Kikuubo, your goal in the New Year should be to save more money and probably spend less.
“You therefore, need to cut out all the unnecessary expenses. However, depriving yourself of the essential things like food in the name of saving is not good because it will affect your health. You need to be in perfect health to make more money,” he warns.
He adds that: “It is advisable that you introduce small habits at a time. If you have been spending a lot on your lunch, start by packing lunch from home, be a better time manager so that you do not have to catch a boda boda all the time. You can resort to using taxi or even train to your work place to cut on transport costs so you can save more.”
For those who are employed, Mukasa adds that if your retirement is getting closer but things are not working out right, you need to save even more.
“You may have to do something about your daily operations to help you get to your goal. If it means taking on another job so that you can earn more, go for it.”
It would be important to do a self-assessment to see where you are and where you want to be.
If you think things are good, then you can relax but surely, in this world, we always crave for more and want to get to the next step.
It is good to find out where you are doing well and keep that but for the things that have not been moving well, ensure to do better.
“Be specific about the things that you want to improve. If you have been spending a lot of money on entertainment, try to calculate how much you spend and be determined to cut out down on the expenditure,” Okaka advises.
Do not make abrupt big purchases
Brian Musana, a procurement and logistics personnel at Stanbic Bank, says purchasing a car or house are very essential to everyone, especially those with established families but they require a reasonable amount of thought before you make the final decision.
“If you really need a car, you should go for a manageable one whose consumption is not so high. You should not have to spend almost half of your salary on fuel. You can actually get to your expensive dream car with time not when you just got a new job and are still on probation,” he says.
Do not make high risk investments
While it is good to make as many investments in the new year, be careful about the businesses and investment areas you choose. Businesses such as crypto and bit coins are high risk investments.
Musana says: “Many people lost their money in crypto cash businesses last year. You should not make the same mistake. Therefore, beware of business channels that promise very quick returns and are not clear how the profits are made.”
Live within your means
Making a budget is one thing and following it is another. He says when you make the budget, ensure to keep within your means.You should not have to be borrow all the time just to sustain an expensive lifestyle.
If you found yourself borrowing more the previous year, it means you failed to live within your means and therefore cannot sustain yourself. Change this habit in the new year.