Life gives us a second chance every 365 days. A chance to do better and to be better. After a year like 2020, we desperately need to turn over a new leaf. But what will you do with the new opportunities 2021 holds? Will you start anew or keep on locking horns with your wallet? This week, we’re giving you some tips on how to make 2021 a financial step up from 2020.

Set goals

You already knew we were going to start with this one. Without goals, you’re on your way to nowhere, fast. Setting financial goals for the year ahead isn’t the same as new year’s resolutions – financial goals are not a high standard you have to hold yourself to and feel bad for not reaching them. Financial goals are the rewards you give yourself. Setting and achieving these goals can help you financially in the short and long term. Make sure your goals are realistic and take a moment to consider all that you want to achieve with your money this year. 

Examples of goals include

Putting away R36,000 into your Tax-Free Savings Account 
Saving 10%-15% of your income monthly 
Saving up to buy a home next year 
Investing 5% of your income this year  

Assess where you are right now

Knowing how to improve in the future means you have to know what your financial situation looks like right now. Gather all your bills, call your insurer to check your cover and premiums, have a look at that credit card and make sure you know what you have to work with. Assess your debt and start paying debt with the highest interest rate, repay someone you owe, etc. This will help you start on a clean slate.    

Learn more about personal finance

The more you know, the more you’ll grow…your money! Boss your finances in 2021 by reading up on personal finance and other relevant topics depending on your goals. You don’t have to go out and buy every investment guru’s self-help book – you just need to keep an eye on the news and other sources, like financial blogs and Slice. Having a better understanding of the opportunities available to you will help you make better financial decisions next year. 

Prepare for the year ahead

We often already know what’s going to happen every year. You know when your partner’s birthday is coming up, when it’s Valentine’s Day, your anniversary, when school fees are due, and when you have to get your car serviced. Oftentimes, expenses feel unexpected only because we did not prepare for them. Set up a financial calendar that will remind you of expenses you know you will have to pay for the whole year. That way you can be prepared, save more ahead of time, and also know what you will have left by the time Januworry rolls around again. 

Once you have these 4 tips down, you’ll set yourself up for success and will be in a good position to take advantage of financial opportunities that will ultimately lead to financial independence.

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Lisa, a Slice and blog writer for 22seven, believes that financial literacy is one of the most important skills you can have. She aims to keep information about your finances as simple and straightforward as possible to ensure anyone can learn to boss their money. In her spare time, you'll find her on the tennis court, on her mountain bike or spending time watching documentaries.
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