80% of News Year’s resolutions fail by February. At least that’s what studies show. Since January has come to an end, you are probably wondering how you are going to hold steady and accomplish all the goals you set out to do.
Some of the goals that are hard to keep have to do with personal finances. Financial planning is not only stressful but it can be a tedious process- at least for a lot of us. Some of us might even break into hives when we start thinking about budgeting. Money seems to come in and just as quickly goes out.
Who wouldn’t love to have a constant flow of cash that can be spent at your whim? All of us probably. So we don’t have cash for you, but we have some tips that might help you with your personal financial health. For those who had “financial health, financial planning…” or any variation of those goals- Cellulant’s finance team across Africa gives you some tips to keep yourself on track in 2018.
Set your financial goals- If you don’t plan, you plan to fail-
Plan and plan to succeed. Planning comes easily for most when doing it for their roles at work but majority never apply the same strategy to their individual lives.
Where are you going? Before you can enjoy better financial health, you have to know your financial health destination. What IS financial health to you?
A good financial situation is different for different people and the journey to get there is up to you. The best way to start building better financial health is to make a plan. Write down your goals (for the week, the month, the year, the decade, what have you). Having a plan will give you something to fall back on, to look at and say, “I’m here and need to be there, and this is how I’ll do it.” So start with a plan.
If this is not easy for you to start- draft a financial vision board. You need motivation to start adopting better money habits, and if you craft a vision board, it can help remind you to stay on track with your financial goals – Milkah, CFO, Cellulant Group
Budget, Budget, Budget- and when all fails…? Budget still!Any good financial situation is founded on a solid budget to show where your money is going. Depending on when you are paid, you may decide on a weekly or monthly budget. You need a budget regardless of how much you earn a year. Creating a budget can be tough, but it has to be done. Identify areas where you can cut back spending, and then CUT BACK! If you are tech savvy, you can use online budgeting and financial tools . A great tip is to look at your budget in blocs- eg. 30% of your salary goes to your “lifestyle” spending such as restaurants, food; 30% to your necessities; 20% on savings etc.
If you already have a budget, review and check how well your previous budget worked for you and find where you need to adjust and improve – Metlha, Finance Manager, Cellulant Botswana
Spend less than you earn and reduce your debt
You always have less money than you think- especially when you get paid. Only towards the end of the month do you realize that you had less than you thought.
When that money is in your bank account – it is tempting to want to spend it. But your spending is yours to control – no one else can control your spending.
If you want a healthy practical financial life, you need to learn not to spend money as quickly as it comes into your bank account. A tip to help you? Spend on experiences, not things. Putting your money toward purchases like a trip, a night out with friends—instead of spending it on pricey material objects such as a car, or that new pair of shoe you want—gives you more happiness for your money. If you make it a habit to spend on memories rather than on instant gratifying items- you find that you actually spend less because you plan ahead.
Oh- most importantly? Spend money on the real you and not the imaginary you. If you are not a professional stylist, don’t spend money as a professional stylist. In other words, live within your means – Mercy Kamau, Finance Manager, Cellulant Kenya
Emergencies will happen. Save
A dollar saved is a dollar gained. So when your job pays you- make sure you pay yourself too. AKA- put money into your savings account.
This is one of the hardest things to accomplish, but it is important that you build a financial buffer. Your life is not guaranteed. Anything can happen at any time. You need to have money in your account so that if you lost your job, or some other emergency occurred, you would have the cash to cover it. Try as a rule to allocate 20% of your monthly budget to savings. You need the security that only having good savings can offer. Emergency savings helps you to fall back on a reasonable amount of money when you are financially down.
Important tip: do not keep your savings in the same account for your day to day spending. Your are only human- if you see you have money in your checking account, you will spend it – Chukwuma, CFO, Cellulant Nigeria
Keep good records and create your own financial dashboard
Keeping track of your finances is hard. Too many accounts, cash spent, and the bills just never stop coming. Worse? You can never remember where those receipts, or those bills have been placed. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a single place where you can see how and where you spend your money?
Financial health means having a one-stop view for your finances. In this day and age, money goes from one account and is tracked in another. This might be the most discouraging part of financial planning- tracking the money you spend. Thankfully, there are so many options for you digitally. Find a simple cashflow tool that helps you with your payments, keeps track of your spending as well as helping you become financially savvy with your money – Jackson, Finance Manager, Cellulant Zambia
Want more tips? stay tuned as we dish out more insights on the best way to make payments in Africa.