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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Simple Ways To Achieve Your Annual Financial Goals

If you were not aware, we have come to the end of the first half of the year 2015. How did you fair on, financially?
Whether you are employed or job searching, you will agree that life is harder nowadays. The cost of living has escalated, basic goods are no longer affordable and all these loads of bills to settle.  If you were not lucky (read not well organized)  you had to go through these past six months being broke. You are terribly failing on your new year resolutions.
Now, where did the rain start beating you? Where did we go wrong? Why can't you achieve your financial goals? One reason is the aforementioned, high cost of living but still, we might just be the ones digging our financial graves not just in the past 6 months, but throughout our lives:

What are the common mistakes preventing us from achieving our Financial goals?

Spending More Than We Earn: Even though basic financial management rule dictates that we should live within our means, majority of Kenyans have found themselves spending more than they earn. 
Failure to Track Down Our Expenditure: Tracking your expenses is especially useful when your expenditure exceeds your income. Unfortunately, there’s the section of Kenyans who don’t track down their expenses which means anything goes for them. They end up spending their all.

Keeping Up With the Joneses: There are those Kenyans who are constantly in compettion with their friends, neighbours and family. Obviously this will leave you broke because you may not have the same income, neither do you have the same needs. Buying unnecessary things, just for competition sake, is a sure way to be broke and in debt.

Constantly in Debt: Talking of debts, there are those who are constantly in debt 24/7. They borrow one debt to pay another. Debts interferes with our financial planning as you lose control over our funds. Living on borrowed money is both expensive and unsustainable.

Remedy for these pitfalls?

Quite simply, one should spend less than they earn. Living within your means is the first step to financial freedom. The rule is that you should save at least 10% of your income and if possible even more.

Two, Track down your expenses to the very last dime. No matter how small the expense, it should be tracked to come up with a monthly estimate of how much one spends. Every time you get money — whether it’s from your paycheck or  other personal businesses — write it down. Every time you spend money — whether it’s paying bills, bus fare, or buying coffee — write it down. Track down every cent that enters or leaves your life. It is the first step to making a good budget.

Three, as a rule of accounting, one can only budget with cash at hand and not expected cash. The way the world is, you cannot be part of another person. Living another person's life will only frustrate you. So, you should be grateful for the little you have and be content with it and move on with life at your own pace.
Finally, avoid debts at all costs. If unavoidable, debts should be managed. Debt for asset building is
necessary but not for wants or to compete with friends.

Goal Setting
Money and goal setting tend to go hand in hand, so set your goals and endevour to achieve them. The trick with proper goal setting is to break down the goals down to small manageable steps done monthly.
Secondly, break your financial goals down into the year. And every month, make sure to do the task that will enable you achieve the big goal. That way, at the end of each calendar year, you will be able to review if and how you achieved this.
Finally, it is also vital to look at the goals at least weekly in order to be attuned to them, remind yourself of your targets and keep yourself motivated in attaining them.

You still have half a year left and am sure you can accomplish more than half of what you had envisioned at the start of this year. Take the above steps and be grateful for whatever little you achieve this year and aim to improve on it next year. All the best.

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