In about 5 weeks’ time we will all be yelling out the countdown into 2016. Crazy, right? Will you be going into the New Year as someone that has spent 2015 actively saving towards your financial goals? Or will you be going into it flat broke?
If you are the latter, then don’t despair. There are still 5 weeks left in which you can make a plan to reach a milestone or two and start 2016 as someone with a plan in action.
Step 1: Choose 3 financial goals
Choose a short- medium- and long-term financial goal you believe to be the most important, i.e. saving for an emergency fund (short), becoming debt free (medium) and saving towards a college fund for your child (long).
Step 2: Relook your budget
Where can you cut back on a monthly basis, and where can you save something extra over the next 5 weeks? This time of the year is the most expensive so this part is going to be difficult. You will have to be resourceful, sell something you’re not using, spend less on Christmas gifts, and plan the holidays more cost-effectively.
Remember: Your December pay cheque will have to carry you through to the end of January 2016. Don’t be tempted to overspend during the holidays, as this decision will give you a false start in the New Year. The time to budget and plan is now!
Step 3: Reach the first milestone of each goal
Combine the money you saved on your December budget as well as any extra savings you have made. Now, divide this number into three equal portions, and use it to reach milestone one of each goal. If you need to create a savings/investments account, choose one that doesn’t give you immediate access to your funds.
Tip: It doesn’t matter if the three amounts are small at first. However, if they are too small to start two or more savings/investments accounts (as some accounts have a minimum opening amount), then focus all your efforts on only one goal.
Start working on your financial goals now, before the year is done. Not only will it give you a head start but it will also give you the necessary motivation to make 2016 a financially stable one.
If you are too over-indebted to cope, don’t hesitate to contact Debt Rescue as soon as possible. With debt counselling you can turn your financial situation around.