It’s finally been announced that February 25, 2016 will be the election date in Jamaica. Over the next few weeks, both parties will be declaring their plans for the future of our country in their political manifestos. Regardless of which party wins the election, you will still have to work hard to ensure that your own financial position is secure.
Here is a personal ‘Money Manifesto’ containing all the financially smart steps that can help you to shape a prosperous future for 2016 and beyond. The twelve points shared below represent the essential areas that you should follow if you wish to become financially successful.
- I will make financial education my priority.
I will invest in my own personal development by seeking to learn more about money. I will endeavour to read or listen to good financial advice every single day, as I recognise that most of the solutions to my money problems can be found in other people’s experiences in books and CDs.
- I will create a budget.
I will no longer be clueless about what I spend money on, as I will take the time to document all the expenses that I expect to come during the year. I will write down all my income sources and then calculate if my earnings can cover my expenses. I will diligently track my monthly spending to determine if my budget is realistic, and make necessary adjustments.
- I will cut back on buying unnecessary items.
I will examine my budget to see where I’m spending too much money on frivolous things that may contribute to my problems in balancing my budget. I will question myself before I make a purchase, to determine if there are better uses for my money than buying that item.
- I will save consistently.
I will commit to accumulating money instead of just spending it; so my first budget expense will be my own savings. I will make my savings automatic by setting up a monthly salary deduction or standing order to put money into a separate nest egg account. I will find and save coins every day if I have no source of income.
- I will build an emergency fund.
I will focus my initial saving efforts on building up a fund to help protect me against possible emergencies such as illness or job loss. I will continue until I have saved at least three to four months of my living expenses, and I won’t use this money for anything except a real crisis.
- I will reduce my consumer debt.
I will start living within my means and stop using loans to finance consumer items that I can’t really afford. I will create a plan to pay off my existing loans faster, and try to replace my high-interest credit card debt with lower interest options such as a credit union or cash-secured loan.
- I will design an action plan for my goals.
I will stop merely wishing that I could have things like my own home; instead I will commit to turning my financial dreams into reality. I will set specific and time-bound goals and get assistance from an expert advisor who can help me to create a plan to achieve my goals.
- I will find ways to earn extra money.
I will seek out opportunities to increase my income beyond my regular pay cheque. I will look for ways to solve people’s problems or fill their needs, and market my God-given talents to make money. I will use my extra earnings to save more, reduce my debt and achieve my goals.
- I will put my money to work for me.
I will seek to multiply my money by putting it to work in smart investment options. I will learn about investing techniques by reading financial newspapers and online sites, listening to money programmes on radio and TV, and attending seminars. I will not allow greed and ignorance to cause me to risk my funds in unwise schemes.
- I will make an estate plan.
I will make proper plans to transfer my money and assets when I die, so that I don’t leave my survivors with insufficient funds to pay for my funeral expenses, outstanding bills and estate taxes. I will create a financial legacy of wealth for others to maintain and enjoy for many generations in the future.
- I will be thankful for all my blessings.
I will not become discontented with my financial status by focusing solely on my material desires. I will resolve to give thanks, every day, for all the possessions and non-material blessings that are currently in my life. I will remember those who are less fortunate and will share what I have with them.
- I will diligently apply the money lessons I learn.
I will no longer allow the plague of procrastination to derail my financial future. I will act immediately in carrying out all the steps that I need to take to fix my money problems. I will act persistently and will not let discouragement, setbacks or negative circumstances stop me from progressing towards my goals.
If you want to make your Money Manifesto one that is all “action and not a bag a mout'”, then learn more about these success steps in my eBook The 3 M’s of Money: How to Manage, Multiply and Maintain Your Money.