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  • Nurul Khairiah Mohamed Yusof

6 Steps to Reflect on Your Financial Decisions in 2020

Reflecting on your financial decisions in 2020 is easier said than done. How to get started and prepare for 2021?

As each year comes to an end, we usually will reflect on what the year has brought – what we learnt from facing challenges, and how we celebrated successes.


Now, 2020 in all its glory was a truly challenging year for many, and so the act of reflecting on the year is even more important.


In 2020, many were forced to make significant financial changes, whether major or minor, depending on the changes with our surrounding environment and source of income. By being mindful is all about going through life with purpose and paying attention to the present moment. It has a place throughout our life as finances affecting every aspect of our lives and can make a real difference in our finances as well.


Other than checking our physical and mental health using mindfulness tools, these few steps can help you to bring a clarity in our financial space.


1. Be proud of the financial decisions you have made

Think back to the last financial decision that bring you closer to a goal, it could be increasing your retirement saving or diversifying your investment portfolio. Get in touch with how it felt to be getting on the right path. You are aware that you are capable and empowered to feel comfortable through all your financial decisions, be it small or big.


One research suggest that by having a positive mindset can influences our action to make better choices.


Get in touch with how it felt to be getting on the right path. You are aware that you are capable and empowered to feel comfortable through all your financial decisions, be it small or big. One research suggest that by having a positive mindset can influences our action to make better choices.

2. Don’t procrastinate on your financial actions


We all have that one things on our finances that we hate to do or cringe when we should do it. It could be looking at your monthly expenses and not liking the current spending or simply have to look for another investment portfolio. All these can tell us a lot about the management of our personal finances.


But when we resists or delay, it could lead to more issues in the future and could be harmful to your financial health. How do we want to tackle these issues? Figure out the underlying issues that drives your procrastinations and avoidance. Is it because you are not sure what to do first? Or you just don’t have the time for planning?


As you identify your issues and how to tackle it, a commitment have to be made in order to ensure that you can solve these issues. Consider engaging with a licensed financial planner to get a better look at your issues and helping hand in managing them.

3. Start tracking your spending


Everyone wants to achieve financial stability for the purpose of peace of mind and the ability to afford things as well as provide for our future generations. But often these goals feel like an unattainable and far-off goal. If you need some good financial housekeeping, please start with organization. Allocate a few hours in a week to review your finances details.


In this technology era, multiple apps provide a tools to help you organize your spending or investment that are user friendly. Not sure which application is good for you? Read our spending tracker applications review to read more on various types of finances apps. If you prefer doing things with paper and pen, don’t fret as you can simply track your spending manually by using finances worksheets. If you need some examples, just Google ‘personal finances and budgeting spreadsheet’ and voila, so many templates of worksheet to choose from.


If you feel that your spending exceeded your budget, consider cutting some of your leisure stuff and save that excess on your money jar or contact your financial planner to get a holistic look on your finances – actions like this are actually what make you present in all aspects of your financial health.

4. Assessing your long-terms goals


To meet your long-term goals, you need to do small things frequently. One of the obvious example is by having an emergency savings for rainy days. You might allocate RM10 everyday from your spending to any money jar located in your bedroom or even beside your washing machine (when you found a small changes in your dirty trousers pockets!). These small actions will take us sometime to be disciplined.


If you are afraid to invest in high risk investment, you might consider chatting with financial planner for better views on the type of investment for long-term planning. They can help to align your investment allocation with your life stage and risk tolerance.

5. Identify your next money milestones


Your money experiences are changing according to your life events. Big life events often come with financial changes (getting married, having baby, starting a business). Those big moments should come with detailed financial planning. Or, instead of “positive” money goals, you can encounter several moments you might not be able to anticipate, like retrenchment or sudden medical needs for treatment at health facilities.


The question is, how would you handle everything and what kind of changes you can do to be more prepared? Start listing down all the actions you think you should take before the event happening. Seek professional help if you are still unsure of the next step to be done.

6. Engage a licensed professional


Financial success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes effort and good knowledge to keep it afloat. Getting a financial advice from a licensed financial planner is a good start to evaluate your current financial standing. With holistic view of your finances and unbiased advices, you can get a better look for your financial planning.


You might feel intimidated by this first as finances topics is a sensitive subjects for most people and it is hard to open up about your financial situation to anyone, let alone a stranger but as a financial planners, their job is to help you feel at ease and comfortable during discussion on your next step in financial planning.

Conclusion


Setting new patterns in our financial action starts with understanding on how we got to where we are now. Who or what influenced your financial habits? Is it your family or your peers? Maybe you watched your mom saving some of her income monthly or your father limiting your spending for expensive gadgets and working to earn an expensive stuff. Whether it is positive or negative influences, they can be a foundation of things we do well and where we have room to grow. If you are in doubt, go back to the basic. Understand how to prepare for your retirement, assessing your current budget and get your debts under control.


How do you reflect on your financial decisions made in 2020?

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