As we usher in the year 2016 with an optimistic outlook for a bright future, we must have a
decisive game plan to create a more prosperous New Year. Instead of just rehashing wishful resolutions from past years, make a concerted effort to attain these specific financial objectives:
1. A S.M.A.R.T. goal
It’s been said that ‘a promise is a comfort to a fool’; and some people believe that resolutions are foolish wishes that bring cold comfort. Your dreams may seem impossible to achieve if you don’t convert your ideas into specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-based goals.
Select one dream that would make the biggest difference in your life. Write it down precisely, expressing how you would measure it, take action on it and know when it was complete. Consider all the steps you need to take every day to realise your goal and persevere until you accomplish it. Continue reading 7 Money Must-Haves for 2016
AS the month of November winds down, many people are preparing themselves for the hectic activities which December brings. While the whirlwind of office socials, gift shopping and family dinners that accompanies the upcoming season is enjoyable, it can at times be exhausting.
As the year-end approaches, you may find that you have little time, energy or inclination to keep pursuing your important financial goals. You may get swept away with the holiday festivities and think that it’s okay to relax, enjoy life and just take a break from being financially responsible.
On the contrary, it’s critical for you to work even harder to achieve the targets you set for this year. What you do during the next 30 days will set the tone for the beginning of 2016, so you want to finish off the year by making a resolute effort to advance or complete those unfinished tasks.
If you begin the New Year reflecting on all the things you wished you had accomplished, you may get depressed and demotivated instead of feeling energised and enthused to achieve more. Let’s look at another way to revitalise yourself during December with this four-step R.E.S.T. plan. Continue reading The Rewards of R.E.S.T.
Many of the accomplishments that I can list in my life have come after making several attempts that at first produced only undesirable outcomes. I have become so accustomed to frustrations and setbacks that I have simply accepted these occurrences as part of the process of achievement.
After years of counselling people who were trying to achieve their financial goals, I realised that disappointment with the slow pace of progress is one of the reasons why many give up on their dreams. They think that if the dream was meant to be, it should happen quickly and effortlessly.
Despite knowing that success often comes after repeated failures, I sometimes get irritated when I don’t immediately see positive results from my efforts. Recently, after feeling exasperated with a project that was taking longer than expected, I resigned myself to learning through trial and error.
The theory of trial and error
This week, I wanted to discuss the importance of giving yourself space to try and fail as you traverse the pathway to your goals, so I decided to research the concept of trial and error. It was then that I discovered that there is actually an entire learning theory dedicated to this principle. Continue reading Triumph Through Trial and Error
When asked if they are satisfied with their financial situation, very few people will answer, “Yes!” Many will say that they wish that they had fewer bills to pay; had a better job; owned a home; worked for themselves; or that they just had more money to do what they wanted.
There is an old English rhyme which begins, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” It is easy to create a fantasy life by simply wishing it would happen; even paupers can live like princes in their dreams. However, in real life, wishes do not materialise unless they are backed by work.
If you would like to improve your money situation, don’t expect the process to be effortless. As our wise Jamaican saying advises, “If yuh want good, yuh nose haffi run.” To achieve your dreams, you have to be willing to work hard and persevere along the pathway until you attain your goal. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: If Yuh Want Good Yuh Nose Haffi Run
We have been looking at strategies which couples can use to manage their money as their relationships develop through courtship, engagement and marriage. Let’s look at some of the financial considerations that couples may face when a new baby comes into the picture.
Save for medical expenses
An increase in medical expenses is an unavoidable reality when planning for children. From the pregnancy test that confirms that the little one is being formed, to the hospital bill after the bundle of joy enters the world, couples should expect to spend a lot of extra money on health costs.
Even if couples are not ready to start adding to their family, it would be wise to create a ‘baby account’ in which they put aside some funds every month. This nest egg would be a significant help in dealing with prenatal expenses when they finally make the decision to have children. Continue reading Money & Relationships: Then Comes Baby in a Carriage
After the thrill of the wedding ceremony has faded and the fantasy of the honeymoon is over, newlyweds must adjust themselves to the routine of marriage. Unlike storybook romances in which the couples live ‘happily ever after’, newlyweds often find that this period brings many challenges.
In Genesis 2:24, it declares that “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This speaks to a concept of togetherness in which both parties in the marriage are thinking, planning and acting in one accord for the good of the family.
In an ideal marriage, couples would genuinely leave their self-interest outside the door, and work selflessly for each other once they cross over the threshold. Individuals would look out for their spouses when making plans for the future, and any decisions made would benefit them both. Continue reading Money & Relationships: Then Comes Marriage Pt 2
When the blossom of new love begins to bear the fruits of a long-term bond, couples may decide that they want to cement their relationship by getting married. During the month of June, it is customary to see many couples joining their lives together as they celebrate their nuptials.
Like any other major life development, the decision to get married comes with certain financial implications that should be carefully considered before taking the plunge. Let’s look at some vital information that can help people make the right choices when planning for their weddings.
Get financial counselling
Couples often view their relationships through rose-tinted glasses before they get married, and they may overlook some worrying signs that could impact their future together. This is especially true when it comes to their finances, as this topic is often a taboo subject for many people. Continue reading Money & Relationships: Then Comes Marriage Pt 1
Kimberly rolled over and looked at her bedside clock with dismay. The jarring alarm had jolted her from a blissful dream and she reluctantly swung her legs onto the floor. It was getting increasingly difficult for her to rise each morning and she longed to stay in bed for one more hour.
Up to two years ago, Kimberly had enjoyed getting up at the crack of dawn. She always anticipated another exciting day at work, and was the first to arrive and the last to leave the law office. Her dedication had won her several awards, as it was obvious to her bosses that she was a rising star.
From she was just eight years old, Kimberly had wanted to become a high-powered, well-paid attorney like the beautiful actress on her favourite television show. Ignoring the frivolities enjoyed by her friends, she had excelled at university and achieved her law degree in record time.
Her routine was disrupted one fateful evening when she was swept off her feet by a charming man with whom she had grudgingly agreed to have dinner at the insistence of her best friend. After six months they were happily married, and before long, the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy. Continue reading Giving Up On Your Goal
EARLY in a new year, many people make purposeful pledges to accomplish important tasks that they believe will make a significant difference in their lives. However, many of them find that their firm resolutions do not last through the year, and many of their hopeful plans remain unfulfilled.
Last week we looked at ways to determine if you should go ahead with, postpone, or call a halt to the goals that you may be contemplating for this year. Obtaining relevant information, getting expert guidance and obeying your instincts are key elements when creating a goal ‘traffic light’.
If you have already embarked upon your quest, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent pace until you arrive at your destination. The journey is often fraught with distractions, disappointments and delays that can divert you from the pathway which can successfully take you to your goal. Continue reading How To Read Goal Directional Signs
“When faced with failure, many persons are not sure if they should continue in their current direction or choose a different path. They may end up persevering with the wrong thing or quitting a good idea too early. How do you know when to stop and when to keep working on a goal?” – Reader
Last week we looked at how to use failures to help you achieve your goals, by learning valuable lessons that can point you to the right pathway. However, sometimes failure can actually be a sign to stop. How can you tell if your goal is worthwhile pursuing, or if you are chasing a futile dream?
Goal accomplishment would be much simpler if we had internal signals that would indicate green when it was time to go, yellow when it was appropriate to wait, and red when we should hit the brakes. This would remove confusion and doubt, and prevent us from wasting time and money.
Since you were not designed with this decision-making feature, you have to find strategies that can help you to decipher the results that you experience when you start working on your goals. Here’s how you can create a ‘traffic light’ for your goals that will indicate the right steps you need to take. Continue reading How To Create A Goal Traffic Light