“Become so financially secure that you forget it’s payday,” Anonymous.
It’s that time of the year when we regret not following through with our plans and goals in the previous year, and promising ourselves to do a better job this year. If you are reading this, life has given you another new start and another chance to set ambitious targets and work towards them. A common goal is working towards attaining financial stability in the long run.
Getting yourself on a sound financial footing is a lot like building a successful business, it takes years of planning, skill, patience and a little bit of luck. But what is luck, if not opportunity meeting planning? Considering the road ahead, you have every reason to get started today. The following pointers could get you into shape to the desired finish line.
Have a Plan
Financial security won’t happen by accident, and it won’t happen overnight either. You need to approach your life with a long-term strategy made up of a series of short-term goals and actions. Success rarely happens at random which is why a concrete plan on how to attain financial freedom needs to be put in place. Write down your goals and work on a plan of how to achieve them.
Invest in Yourself
When businesses want to grow, they plough back their profits. The same logic applies to individuals. Before you even begin your career, an investment in education can provide an opportunity to increase your potential lifetime earnings. It also provides knowledge and credentials that make you a more attractive and higher-paid part of the workforce.
Keep in mind that investing in yourself is not a one-time effort. If you have a bachelor’s degree going back to school at mid-career can provide a boost to your credentials and help you keep pace with the competition. If you have a trade or vocation, continuing your education could open up new opportunities. If you get an entrepreneurial urge and circumstances are allowing, you could consider starting a business.
Regardless of your profession, adding a new skill or designation can increase your revenue generating opportunities. Learning new skills is an investment that should continue over the course of your lifetime. Expand your interests and keep an eye out for opportunities. You could continue to build your skill set even during retirement. A second career is not only more fulfilling than the first one, but it could set up a revenue stream that would make your golden years truly golden. Even if you have been tremendously successful and no longer need to work, you could continue to invest in yourself by building your knowledge base.
Get out of Debt
Debt management is a critical exercise for every successful business, and there is a reason for the saying “cash is king.” Why not take a similar approach to debt as successful businesses? Don’t rack up debt in the typical fashion that would get you stuck in a consumption trap. Avoid debt as much as you can and pay up your debts as soon as you can.
If you often find yourself needing a loan, work on ways to increase your income, reduce your expenses and build up emergency savings. Put your money in a liquid fund that can give you a good return on your savings like the Zimele Savings Plan.
Even the most brilliant plans face setbacks sometimes. Jobs are lost, investments fail, tragedy strikes in ways big and small. Be patient. Don’t let the small, temporary setbacks distract you from your long-term goals.
By adopting the mindset outlined above you will be well on your way to building a secure financial future. While the journey is long and the road not always easy, be sure to take the time to appreciate what you have. Taking time to savor the small victories will help you see where you have come from and you will appreciate where you are going.
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