There is a lot to read about and learn when it comes to personal finance. The information may vary based on where you live, your age or background. However basics of finances are centred on the following core themes:-
☑ What Are Your Goals and Values?
This is the first thing that should be on your entire personal finance checklist. Whether long term or short term, you should always be guided by your goals and values. Every financial decision that you make should reflect your values and help you achieve your ultimate goals in life.
☑Do You Have a Budget and Do You Follow It?
This may seem cliché by now. However, budgeting is the foundation of a sound financial plan and financial wellness. As discussed above, a budget should serve your goals and values.
For example, if you want a house in 10 years, a car in 5 years or a business in a year, does your monthly budget help you achieve that? If you believe in living within your means, do you have more expenses than income?
Do you even follow your budget? If you don’t, it means nothing and you will not achieve your goals. Make a realistic plan and stick to it.
☑Are You Saving? Why and Where?
You should set aside a specific amount or percentage every time you get money for saving. You should include saving in your budget and always try to save before spending. However, that in itself is not enough. Save with a purpose and goal in mind. Also, have a separate rainy day fund for emergencies. Finally, ensure that your savings earn interest.
☑How Big Is Your Debt & Can You Afford it?
A huge personal debt can weigh you down. Debt can also be the reason that business you have given your all to build, collapses. Assess your debt situation regularly. Always work on reducing your outstanding debt as fast as realistically possible to boost your credit score. Never take a loan to finance a lifestyle. Never take a loan you cannot afford to pay.
☑Are You Investing?
Whether it is an active investment like farming or a passive investment like buying shares or a balanced fund, you should always look to make sound investments at all times. Invest with the long term in mind. When investing, think of value and not necessarily short term returns.
Conclusion No matter what stage of life you are in, asking yourself these questions will help you gauge how well you are doing financially. They cover all the key areas of personal finance and they can help you hold yourself accountable. It is hard to achieve financial wellness if you are not in control of all these areas.
Article courtesy of ZIMELE ASSET MANAGEMENT (KENYA)