5 Personal Finance Goals That Are Often Hard to Implement

5 Personal Finance Goals that are Often Hard to Implement

The Year-End celebrations came and they went. Personal finance goal setting was done with a renewed vigour. You typically do this at the start of the year and, more often than not, there ends the story. A couple of weeks or months of spreadsheet entries at best. This picture is more common than you imagine. You can, however, do things differently starting now. Forewarned is forearmed, and lets you upgrade to a better way of honouring your commitments. Here are five personal finance goals you can handle with a little extra care this year.

Start an Emergency Fund

Surprising as it may seem, this is a widely neglected personal finance basic. The traditional route is to put away six months of current living expenses and to access this fund or instrument only in case of emergencies. One can play around with the number of months of expenses to put away and with the risk level of where one wants to put it away, but to get there, one must start. Do it now.

Automate Your Finances

Having to remember one’s financial to-do list is wasteful to say the least. Our minds are meant for greater things. As we move closer to a paperless economy, it becomes that much easier to automate your routine financial tasks. In addition to the obvious utilities payments, purchases, and loan repayments, you can automate your investments, your savings, and your annual filings. Use a tool like Money View to make this a cakewalk.
Enlightened self-interest dictates that we keep sharpening our saw and building value. It doesn’t always have to be learning a new language or upgrading your certification. It can also be a pedicure or a sabbatical.

Accelerate Your Savings

You already know this. Consider ways other than increasing your earnings to save more. Read up on frugality, minimalism and the anti-consumption movement. Calculate what percentage of your earnings went to savings last year and commit to a higher number this year. This commitment to save more improves your quality of life in many ways. You start focusing on what is important, you feel less anxious about the future, and your health improves.

Start Giving

Most of us practice some form of giving with our money. But there is more to us than money, and we can be notoriously stingy with our time, with our attention, with our understanding and with our love. Sharing time and skills to contribute to social causes and organizations is an easy way to start. Spending time sharing what you have learned, empowering and encouraging others is another form of giving. However, none of this should be at the cost of your time, attention and love for your near ones. If wealth is yours, it is for a purpose; find it and invest yourself into it.

Subhorup Dasgupta is a Hyderabad-based procrastinator. His writing is infrequent to the point of non-existence. Faint scribblings can be found at his blog, Subho’s Jejune Diet.