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End of the year personal finance chats

Hi, my friends! Many moons have passed since I last wrote here – many opportunities post my weekend of fame missed (ICYMI you can check here, here and here). But things got a bit challenging and I found it difficult to keep up with everything so here we are.

I want to also preface by saying that I’m not really a ‘New Year, New Me/New Year Resolutions’ person. I strongly believe that we can start over at the dawn of a new day irrespective of the month or date. However, a lot of people think the New Year is a time for new beginnings so here are a couple of things I hope might be useful.

Later addition. I wasn’t going to do this, but the following lines speak of personal finance and a whole lot of financial privilege.

Figure out what you want to do better with your money in the new year.

Find what works and try to enhance this practice and find out what doesn’t and eliminate those. Let me try to explain this a bit further through an example of my own. I used to find it easier to use cash for my expenses. So I had a better track of what I spent – and this was common advice I read in most places. However, on the contrary, now I try to use my card for as many purchases as possible and tracking is easier – especially at times like now when my tracking isn’t as great. I know my bank does it for me so I needn’t worry.

Debt is not bad and credit cards are not your enemy.

I used to be that person who saw these two as ‘negative’ things – long years back. This came from seeing terrible examples of money management etc. I still don’t have a credit card and use my mum’s cards if needed but I am no longer “anti”. I’m an “Aunty”.

Find smaller financial goals.

If it’s easier and you find it helpful, have a financial goal to work towards, such as xxx in a bank account by the end of the year. Or this could be even to buy something be it a gaming rig, handbag, vacation or a university degree. Trying to rid yourself of judgement of others might also be helpful in attempting to stay accountable to yourself.

Work within your temptations and capacities.

I might get called out for this but really post-2020, the rules have changed. Splurge a little (without running into massive debt), live a little and it’s okay if your bank balance or investments have fewer zeros than you desire. While I still do believe that budgeting, savings and investing are very important, given how short life has been for us all, I think it’s okay to encourage ourselves to treat ourselves. However, this entire paragraph comes with a whole heap of privileges, so please be mindful of it. 😊

It’s never too late to start good financial practices.

I think this is a common thing I hear when I talk to people about personal finance or money management, they say that they wish they started sooner. While, yes, this might have made a significant difference them, if you didn’t start then, perhaps you were not ready for it or you had more urgent financial commitments. But that’s okay, you can start again. It’s not too late. That IPO you missed out on, the opportunity to not become an early adopter of crypto, might just manifest again in a difference capacity and this time, you will be ready. This golden nugget I learnt from Graham Stephan. 😁

Give back.

Try to, if it’s within your means give more of yourself to others, and this doesn’t always have to be in the form of money. Just as much as we are caving more into our temptations during this strange period of our lives, let us also find time and resources to give to those who are not as privileged. There is more than enough to go around, there is enough money to be made, and we always have more than what we need. If money is difficult, give your time. You don’t have to always spend time with unknown people at hospital wards, orphanages or elders’ homes, it can even be with your own immediate family, extended family, friends, neighbours – basically, people you genuinely like, haha.

I hope 2022 is filled with great things for you.

#ThinkSunny🌻

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