Do your annual money stocktake Set goals
Track your progress
related, though lately the nagging sense I should have finished that best-selling novel has been growing.
A once-a-year date to focus on your financial progress isn’t a bad thing.
You could use Money Week, your birthday, New Year’s Day, any darned date you choose.
Keeping track helps keep us focused.
Aspirations will range from the modest to the grandiose.
For most people the focus will be two or three aspects of their money lives:
One: How rich they are as measured by their net worth (value of assets minus amount owed in debt).
Most people’s asset wealth is made up of two elements. The equity in property, and their KiwiSaver/retirement savings.
You will note I do not include the value of their ‘‘stuff’’. Stuff just makes you feel rich rather than signifying real wealth.
Debt mostly means the mortgage and consumer debt like credit cards.
Two: Their sense of financial resilience.
A survey by insurer Cigna shows four in 10 people who lose their job will run out of money to pay their bills within one month.
One month? That’s terrible. There has to be a better way to live.
Add in those who could manage for ‘‘a few months’’ and six in 10 people lack any meaningful financial stability.
Those are shocking figures. We are people teetering on the edge of insolvency.
Three: How secure their income is, whether employed, or self-employed.
As a wage slave, I have traditionally focused on killing the mortgage and saving/ investing.
I haven’t had consumer debt in 20 years, and fell blessed for it.
I gave myself the liberty of saving at the same time as going hell for leather at the mortgage because I was willing to both sacrifice some of the luxuries of life as well as paying the price for not being among the six in 10 who’d be effectively bust within a few weeks of losing their job.
Choose a date, any date, Money Week, if you like, and make it your date for checking on your progress, and setting goals for the coming year. If you are anything like me, you will know what you need to work on.