Personal Finance Tips

Do you find yourself drafting New Year resolutions year in year out without much change? Try out these sixteen (16) personal finance tips;

  1. Design a monthly Financial Calendar

Allocate money aside for Tithe and Taxes Mathew 22:21. Set apart what goes to savings and investment. I would recommend 10% of your net income; this is called paying yourself first.

List all your regular bills and mandatory payments; loan repayment, house rent, utility bills, salon, shopping, transport/fuel etc.

Include a list of bills that are not regular but likely to feature in that particular month(s); motor vehicle service, medical insurance premium, welfare contributions.

  1. Monitor your financial calendar

How much interest are you paying on your loans, which loans do you pay off first? How much are your savings or investment earning for you? What are the available options of investment for maximum return?

Which items make my financial calendar “weak”, what are the alternatives? For instance, your calendar could be ailing because you take a school fees loan every term while you have an option of making minimal savings on regular basis to meet the commitment

  1. Track your Net worth

Make a list of all your assets; money in current and savings accounts, Sacco deposits, Investment in stock, land and building on one side. Make a list of all your liabilities too; credit card balances, personal loans, mortgage etc

Your Net Worth=Total Assets-Total Liabilities

If your Net Worth is negative, work on how to grow your assets and reduce liabilities. If you are in your early working life (20-35 years), it is okay to have a negative Net worth as you work on growing your asset portfolio.

  1. Set specific financial goals

Use numbers and dates to describe what you want to accomplish. How much debt to pay off, by when? Grow Assets by what percentage and by what date? Start with short term goals and monitor your performance against the set goals, then move to medium and long term goals

  1. Keep-off Cash

Start reducing the frequency of transacting in cash money and note the difference. You are walking along a busy street and the display of shoes and clothes is beckoning you? You are likely to resist the temptation if you have no physical cash with you!

  1. Prioritize your expenditure

Ensure at least 20% of your net income goes to building up emergency savings, padding your retirement nest and investment.

  1. Increase your income Streams

If you are employed, what other business can you start that shall not interfere with your performance? If already in business, consider opening shops in other towns or selling varying products and services. What other farming methods can you adopt?

Be on the lookout for the numerous investment opportunities available in Kenya and beyond, do your research and get started

  1. Take good Loans

You want to improve your net worth? Then take a good loan for investment purposes. A good loan is one taken for a clear purpose and repaid within the shortest time possible.

  1. Be you, do you!

Be true to yourself, live a life that you can afford. Rent or build a house you can afford, take your children to good schools that you can afford. Do not fall into a trap of copying or impressing others.

  1. Start saving for retirement now

Start saving today towards your retirement because money put in your pension scheme now will have more time to grow through compound interest. When your income or salary increases, grow your retirement savings too.

  1. Take Charge of your Credit

Review your credit report regularly. Ensure loans taken go to proper use and the return on investment outweighs the cost of borrowed money

  1. Get Insurance Cover

Insure your business, family and assets against unforeseen losses or events. Insurance helps minimize financial losses, promoting business continuity, risk sharing and protect the business image

  1. Plan for a rainy day

There are eventualities that we cannot anticipate but we can plan for, e.g. loss of job or medical emergencies. Having no savings to cater for abrupt but pressing needs might push you to take emergency loans which have a cost implication. Please note, a wedding is not an emergency!

  1. Make your Savings inaccessible

Your savings should not sit in a current account but in a savings account which has withdrawal restrictions e.g. ATM card, withdrawals limited to once a quarter. This not only bars you from spending the money but also earns you an interest

  1. Grow Savings through standing orders, check-off and bank transfers

Ever heard of a saying “money is never enough”? Your bills will always outweigh your income regardless of how much you earn because our bills tend to grow with income growth. Having standing order instructions or check-off with your bank /Sacco enhances your savings discipline. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much your savings have grown over time.

Avoid direct deposits into your savings or Investment account by all means if you are true to your savings goal.

  1. Think Long term

It is good to stuff a lot of cash in your savings account and much more for financial short term financial goals, it is wise to invest a good percentage of this money to more profitable ventures like land and building, investment in stock, business among others.