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Gofaone Nina Tladi

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

A vision board has been an annual ritual from my teenage years, but every year, I noticed that I did not accomplish many of the big dreams that I had cut out of magazines. It was something nice to look at but rarely translated to goals accomplished and growth. As I prepared to paste the many cut outs on my big big board, I had coffee with an acquaintance who gave me a different perspective on the vision board. The vision board is a visual reminder of the goals, but there needs to be an action plan in place that consists of building the habits that lead to success.

“Being better with money, saving more” has been ineffectual to say the least.

What are the financial goals you have set for this new year? Most things of value and that stand the test of time need clear action plans. “Going with the flow”and “seeing what happens” is code for going nowhere slowly and a certified waste of time. As you do your vision board, whether it is on your phone, pinterest, scribbled in your 2019 corporate notebook, it must be accompanied by a clear set of everyday actionables that will eventually enable you to build wealth, health and everything in between.
Greatness happens in the everyday and not the big grand moments.

With different coloured pens, my notebook in tow and a double cappuccino, I asked myself which habits I need to develop to get there and keep me there. I wrote them down and drew little monthly calendars to tick off everyday whether I did something, or not to track my progress. I got a number of DMs from people asking where to start to get their financial act together. Let’s start here with the financial goals we all should work on for 2019:

Decide: You can make a conscious decision today, right now as you read this to be good with money. 1,2,3…decide!! That is simple enough but it can be transformative.

What is your why?: Getting your financial act is very difficult and there are times when you really want to throw in the towel but there has to be a greater motivation to keep going, throughout this year and every other year.

Face it: Where are you now with your finances? How much do you owe? How much do you earn and what are your expenses? Can you afford the house, the car and other stuff ? Be honest with yourself about where you are financially. Write it all down.

Emergency fund: If last year is anything to learn from it is that life happens so be prepared. The US shutdown highlighted a very dire situation that more than 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, I wonder what that number looks like for Batswana. If for whatever reason. On the 20th, 23rd, 25th or whatever day you get paid and the money text did not report, how long could you go for? The mortgage, the car payment, school fees, rent etc will still be due! You need to have money set aside for emergencies. Having an emergency will greatly reduce your anxiety about money. Emergencies will become more of an inconvenience than a crisis. Automate the deductions and keep the money in an account that will allow you to make withdrawals only when necessary. Don’t get one with a card or easy access to the funds.If you do nothing else this year, do this and prioritise it!

21/90 rule: It takes 21 days to develop a new habit and 90 days to build a lifestyle. To build up my emergency fund I had to figure out where I could save money. After careful scrutiny of my bank statement, I realised I could live on far less than I thought. Eating out and buying lunch everyday were and still are a challenge and so I am currently on a goal to pack lunch everyday.  I sold some stuff that I did not need and live on a written budget. I also had candid conversations with my family in respect of my contributions for the year so I am clear on that. If I was to turn my life around I  simply could not continue to live, speak the same way and hang out with certain people anymore. You win or lose based on your habits and the people you surround yourself with. Sometimes you have to shut down the fun and get yourself together.

Live below your means: this is the secret of the Millionaires next door.

Start today, with what you have and decide that this will be the last time you have Janu-worry. Decide today to get off the financial roller coaster. Decide, right now!!

PS: You don’t have to be a hero, you just have to be what most people aren’t, consistent!

Visit the “ Help, I’m broke with Nina Tladi” Facebook group for more discussions and encouragement.