SMART Financial New Year's Resolutions: How Do You Make Them?
We all have different ways of embracing the promises of new beginnings: some people create vision boards, others reorganise their living or working spaces, and most of us write resolutions.
Setting and fulfilling resolutions for the New Year can be challenging, but doing so is a sensible idea. Here is how you might want to do it:
Take a step back. Take a step back before committing to make a change and putting a plan for achieving a goal into action. You should ask yourself, “What motivates me to make this change and what do I want to gain from it?”
Set SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals. The SMART goal framework has proven helpful in our professional lives, but it may also play a significant role in helping YOU realise your personal goals.
Specific. Establish a particular purpose to understand what you want and leave little room for uncertainty.
Measurable. Set a measurable goal and a deadline, and ensure it allows you to keep track of your progress.
Achievable. Create realistic goals that you can achieve with constant effort and commitment.
Relevant. Be motivated to attain a goal that has meaning or relevance to you.
Time-bound. Set realistic timelines to check your progress and determine how long it will take you to complete it if you put in the required time and effort.
Now that you know how to organise SMART goals, it is time to align them with your financial objectives for the next year.
- Prioritise paying off debts. Select a debt repayment plan that works for you and your personal financial situation. Be sure to pay more than the minimum, pay more than once a month and pay off the most expensive loan first.
- Start a savings plan. It is always advisable to have adequate savings not just for major purchases but as a secure fund for the future. Dubai Government has also started the Involuntary Loss of Employment Insurance Scheme to help provide you with a decent wage in the event of unemployment until an alternative employment opportunity becomes available.
- Build and improve credit score. Everyone must raise and maintain their credit score. Paying your bills on time and in full (e.g., credit card, personal, house, or car loans), paying off debt, limiting credit usage, and reducing outstanding balances can all help you improve your credit score.
- Start investing. Putting money or capital into a venture to generate additional profits is called investing. To start, determine your tolerance for risk, decide on your investment goals and choose your investment style and account.
- Make a retirement plan. Retirement planning should include determining time frames, calculating expenses, assessing risk appetite and conducting estate planning. It will depend on your career, family size, retirement age, and post-retirement goals.
Make a conscious decision to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Know that by setting financial goals and pursuing them, you have already set foot in the right direction, even if you find it difficult to fulfil all of them.
Sure, we get one New Year’s celebration every year, but that does not mean that we can only start over once. Even if you stumble, you can always get back up and try to attain your aspirations.
Watch out for offers and rewards. Sign up for special promos and rewards programmes to enjoy exclusive privileges on shopping, dining, cinemas and entertainment, etc. that will help you cut back on spending and save more.