As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic dwindle, many European economies are slowly bouncing back. A full economic recovery is expected by the end of 2021 in Lithuania and some Scandinavian countries. Euronews projects the EU economy will grow by 3.9% in 2022.
These stats paint an optimistic picture of 2022. It’s the year to get your finances back on track after a disastrous 3-year period. But do you have a plan of action to elevate your new year finances?
Below are practical tips to get your finances in order.
As you head into the new year, you must start thinking about how to boost your income. During the pandemic, some people lost jobs while others dug into their savings. 2022 is the year to recover from such financial misfortunes. You can reel in extra pay by creating multiple income streams or improving your current stream. Here are some options you can consider.
Start a Side Business
A side hustle should be something you can handle comfortably during your free time. Some ideas include becoming a consultant, starting a logistics company, or opening a real estate business.
You could also tap into the many available online opportunities. Consider options like:
Ask for a Raise or Promotion
You can realistically enquire about a raise or a promotion if you have been in an organization for more than a year. Of course, any approval will depend on your skills and whether you have been a good employee.
Search for New Opportunities
It might be time to seek a new job if you can’t find growth opportunities or a pay rise in your current position. You can search for job opportunities on LinkedIn, Manpower, Alliance for Recruitment, Blocket, and Nyteknik. Remember to polish/update your resume when applying for new jobs.
Setting a goal is imperative before setting off on your financial journey. Without a purpose, you lack a clear path of what you want to achieve financially. Goals motivate you to work extra hard.
Financial goals can either be short-term or long-term. What do you want to accomplish in the first few months of 2022? What are your financial plans for the rest of the year and beyond? What amounts would make you feel secure?
These are some of the questions you ought to ask yourself when formulating goals. It’s entirely upon you to make either short- or long-term goals.
You probably have heard about a budget in every financial lesson, but its importance cannot be overemphasized. Having a budget is a surefire way of accomplishing your financial goals and controlling your money.
A budget is a tracking tool that helps you account for all your income and expenses. Its purpose is to ensure you’re spending money on necessary items.
Here’s how you create a budget.
Step 1: Calculate Your Income
Start by determining your net monthly income. Ensure to include income from multiple sources, especially if you’re self-employed or a freelancer. If your income is variable, use figures from the lowest-earning months.
Step 2: Track Your Expenses
The next step is to determine what you’re spending money on. Expenses can either be fixed or variable. The list of fixed expenses can include:
Variable expenses change every month and can include things such as car repairs and grocery shopping.
Assign values to the fixed expenses and project the total cost of variable costs.
Step 3: Calculate the Difference
In an ideal situation, your income should be higher than expenses. However, this isn’t always the case. If you notice your expenses are higher, consider making more money, or cutting your expenses. It’s easier to make adjustments on variable costs than fixed expenses.
Step 4: Determine How to Handle Savings
If you have considerable savings in your account, it might be time to consider what projects to run. You could pay off debts or build an emergency fund.
Step 5: Make It a Habit
Review your budget frequently to ensure you aren’t overspending. Remember to change your lifestyle to meet your financial goals. Most people adopt the 50-30-20 budgeting model. In such a scenario, you spend 50% on essentials, 30% on wants, and the rest on debt repayments and savings. This system may work if your income is more than your expenses.
You cannot rely only on savings for future financial security. A better alternative is investing part of your idle money to generate more money. That’s why nearly 100% of workers in Sweden invest in stocks.
When investing, you allocate funds to different asset classes with the hope of getting returns in the future. You could invest in financial instruments like:
According to Investopedia, stocks have the highest historical returns for investors. They remain a lucrative investment heading to 2022. Keep in mind that their high volatilities make them a risky investment. Ensure you understand how financial markets work before investing your money.
Diversifying your portfolio is also important when investing. Besides liquid assets, you can look into tangible assets like land and real estate. It’s still safe to invest in property in 2022. Countries like Sweden will experience a 5% increase in property prices.
Automation is quickly becoming a vital aspect of personal finance. It can help you save time, stick to your means, and, importantly, achieve financial goals.
Automation comes in handy when paying bills, depositing money to savings accounts, directing funds to investment portfolios, and keeping track of your budget. In the end, you efficiently manage all your finances.
Consider making a list of all your creditors at the start of 2022. This list will help envisage your current financial standing and net worth.
After creating the list, identify debts or loan interests you can pay off without affecting your finances. Use your budget to determine whether you have extra funds to offset such debts.
It isn’t a good idea to default on your loans. Instead, talk to creditors and find viable options for repaying the debt.
Economy-wise, 2022 promises to be a better year than 2021. It’s the year to make your financial breakthrough. Use the above tips to elevate your finances.