This is the season when people come up with several resolutions based on the lessons learnt in 2016, and the desire to either correct mistakes made or plan for a better one ahead. Whatever your motivation for coming up with resolutions, let us look at a few things you need to do next year to guarantee you a level of financial freedom.
From this year's experiences you know now that you need financial discipline throughout the year. Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it before you part with your money. Many ladies buy clothes using a big chunk of their money only to discover they actually do not like it or need it.
2. Save. Save. Save.
Increase your savings in the chama or Sacco. At the end of the day, it is your money and the higher the number of shares you have, the higher the profit you get. As you noticed last month when sharing chama dividends, there were the aggressive members who got more money and the others only looked at them with envy. The visionary ones invested two or more shares while the rest just stuck to one share.
3. Work harder.
Do not be satisfied with just your salary or the income from your business. You know you have talent. Exploit it to earn that extra money to make 2017 better than 2016. If you are in a position where you travel for work, try to spend the allowances given modestly and save some to do something remarkable or save into some project you will be undertaking this coming New Year.
4. Invest in land.
Buy at least a piece of land this year. Do not worry about the location as long as it is good and accessible. There is no place in Kenya where people do not live and I have never heard of anyone selling land less than the buying price. Land is one of the safest and surest ways to save and grow your money.
5. Take an investment risk.
Buy a house off-plan, take the plunge and get yourself into the stock market or start a business on the side. Whichever your situation, at least next year, try something. If you burn your fingers financially, do not sit back and regret; take it as a learning point and invest better next time. Remember those who take financial risks have lost at some point but eventually they win big and we all admire them.
6. Pull out of the crowd.
Do not measure yourself with former classmates or colleagues who have remained static. You know you are better than that. Exploit the power within you to catapult yourself to higher financial heights.
7. Cut extravagance.
Cook and eat only what you can finish. Do you get angry at times when you see someone serving a full plate only to eat a quarter and throw away the rest? That is money being wasted – even if someone else is picking the bill.
In the same way, a lot of food is thrown away at home. If you take into account the food, gas, oil, water and time used to put that food on the table, you will be shocked by the wastage. Also, if you are the partying type that spends every Friday with your girls to drink and paint the town red, you can reduce this to, say, twice a month instead of four times.
You can also reduce the number of beers or spirits you take during such merry-making outings. If you work on this, you will be surprised how much you save every month.
8. Be generous.
As you save money and improve yourself, you might think this is the licence to become frugal even to yourself. Indeed saving everything you get does not guarantee you happiness or satisfaction.
Saving goes hand-in-hand with giving. It is said that the more you give, the more you receive and happy are those who give...try this and watch your investment grow.
Look out for more opportunities out there to cut the financial chains and give yourself freedom this coming year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!