New Year, new goals. What to tackle first?
As each year passes, we give ourselves a set of different, yet positive New Year resolutions. For some it’s to find a job and for others to get fit or to simply go with the flow and see what the year holds for them.
Our resolutions define what we want from the year on a personal, emotional and physical level. “As we enter the new decade, a complete focus has been placed on the self and family with attachments to financial freedom. This is attainable, but with dedication, motivation and encouragement,” explains Ester Ochse, Product Head, FNB Money Management.
Long gone are the days of goals and resolutions that don’t serve our purpose. Today we are fixated on those goals that create and build our ideal lifestyle; and your finances will always influence some aspects in your life, whether physical or emotional.
We all look for some form of outlet or activity that will help make us better as our lifestyles have become even more stressful than before. “It is important that people start investing in their health and finding ways to be more mindful. Experts believe that the key to mindfulness is meditation or taking classes like Yoga or Pilates or Tai Chi. While some people can apply these activities through self-help guides off the internet others require that little assistance or guidance which can cost a little. And sometimes that cost is worth it,” says Ochse.
If those relaxing activities are not for you, register at the local gym and try some of the classes on offer She adds that, “it’s always important to add these costs to your budget. You need to ensure that you can afford it and that you use it regularly. It will be worthwhile especially for your health in the long-term. On the weekends take your family out for a picnic or Sunday afternoon walks. This will alleviate the amount of stress on yourself and means more family time with your family.”
Your home is important, so invest in your home. “It’s the New Year, so look at your surroundings and make a few changes if you feel you need the change. Buy plants and add a little greenery and colour in the form of decorative vases or cushions. These are just some low-cost options that can assist in making your space more personal. If you need to make big renovations get quotes from a few suppliers and compare these before making those changes.
This may cost you a bit but sometimes you need the change, just run the numbers beforehand as renovations can be expensive; and needs to fit within your budgets. In addition, with the new flexible work arrangements currently available, your home is your new office, so invest in your space and make it home, work and family friendly,” she saysa.
Look after your family. “Ensure that your children get the best education. Do your research and ensure that the schools you choose is the best fit for your child. A happy child is a healthy child. When looking for the perfect school look at proximity to your home, as transport costs can add up. Ensure that your budget caters for stationery, uniforms, transport, aftercare, extra tuition, extracurricular activities, excursions and those unforeseen emergencies,” adds Ochse.
We live in a fast-food quick fix society with less focus on nutrition and health. Ochse says, “If you don’t have the time to cook your meals, spend some time on your Sunday to prep your meals. This will also give you time to list what you need from the grocery store, which will lead to food savings as opposed to you buying food stuff that you don’t need – which will lead to unnecessary wastage. And if you not the cooking type, spend a bit of money and attend a cooking class, or look at online cooking tips on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube cooking videos. There are numerous chefs that you can follow.” Cooking wholesome meals that speak to your family needs will ensure that they are healthy.
Our financial wellbeing is related to emotional wellbeing and vice versa. “Balance is key so ensure that your finances are in order. Not only will be help you lead a healthy life but also help make those savings which can be used on those things that you need the most,” concludes Ochse.