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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
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When it comes to money, setting New Year’s
resolutions for yourself is easy, but
committing to and following through with
those resolutions is a completely different
story. This is why it is important to set
realistic and achievable financial goals for
yourself.

There is hardly a quicker way to shove those
New Year’s resolutions aside than to realise
that they are unattainable or that you have set
the bar so high that only Warren Buffett
himself could achieve them. That being said,
here are a few ideas for money-saving New
Year’s resolutions that are set to reasonable
levels and thus promote continued progress
throughout the year, according to
www.moneycrashers.com.

Become debt-free

Let us start with the big one first – freeing
yourself from debt. Whether this is a realistic
and attainable goal is really dependant upon
your financial and debt situation. How heavily
you are in debt, what type of debt you hold
(credit, car loan, mortgage, etc.), your income
level, and the interest rates pertaining to your
debt can all play into how quickly or how
successful you are in becoming debt free.

It is often important to start with reducing
credit card debt first since it will likely have
the highest interest rate. Smaller debts
amounts are also good spots to begin so that
you build a little confidence by crossing them
off your debt list, leaving you to focus on
more problematic debt issues.

Make extra mortgage payments

Resolving to make an extra payment or two
toward your mortgage can be a great way to
start the year. By making an extra payment
each year, not only are you reducing the time
and amount it will take you to pay off your
home, but you will be reducing the amount of
interest those greedy banks receive. Since most
mortgage interest rates are well below those of
credit cards, it is important that you review
any other debt with higher interest rates that
may need to be dealt with first, before putting
extra money toward your mortgage.

Find ways to generate side income

Picking up extra income can be a wonderful
financial resolution. In a suffering economy,
the peace of mind and supplemental income
that comes with a second job or side business
can be a great buffer against the stresses of
economic strife. Even an extra thousand naira
a month can be a great way to reach other
financial goals like paying down debt, making
an extra mortgage payment or starting an
emergency fund.

Start a rainy day fund

If you don’t have one already, starting an
emergency fund can be a good New Year’s
resolution. You never know what tomorrow
might hold when it comes to your finances,
but with an emergency fund, you can face the
unknown with a bit more confidence. While
some financial gurus call for you to have some
specific amount in the bank, you may want to
stash a bit more than that. Even one or two
months of your average income can go fast, so
build up a fund you’re comfortable with. Bear
in mind that if you have outstanding credit
card debt, you might want to deal with that
first to eliminate those costly interest
payments.

Invest in your retirement

It is never too early to start planning for
retirement – and these days it is hard to count
on anyone but yourself to do it. Setting aside
money for the future, or even just a savings or
current account can start you on the path to a
financially secure retirement.

Understand your investments

It is amazing just how many of us hold
investments that we know little about. Nothing
illustrates our lack of financial education
better than the recent mortgage meltdown
where many homeowners had no real
understanding of the mortgages to which they
had committed. Many of us associate
understanding our investments and financial
situation with knowing what stocks we own or
how much we have contributed. Those are
great first steps, but to commit further, we
should understand topics such as where that
money is invested, how much our credit costs
us each year, and other similar financial
information.

Learn to save

Learning to save sounds easy, but it does not
happen overnight. Becoming accustomed to
money-saving techniques can be a lengthy and
involved process, especially for those of us
who have not had much experience with it.

Using coupons, looking for store discounts and
sales, tracking our expenses, and utilising a
budget are skills many of us have learned to
do without until recently. A fresh year
provides the perfect excuse to buckle down
and become familiar with the saving process.

Build a budget

Starting off the year with a budget is an easy
resolution that can be completed while
watching television or soaking in the tub. Your
budget does not have to be in a fancy
spreadsheet with graphs and charts. A simple,
hand-written list of expenses and incomes can
get you started, and can be expanded later if
needed. The hard part of this resolution is
committing yourself to watching, modifying,
and adhering to your budget over the course
of the year. Consider putting your budget in an
easy to see place like your refrigerator or
computer desktop so that it will be a constant
reminder of your financial goals and your
commitment to those goals.

Source: thebiggestgists.blogspot.com/2019/01/eight-new-year-resolutions-to-grow-your.html

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