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They say quitters never prosper, and giving up will not lead you to achievement, but the truth is it seriously depends on what you are quitting or giving up on and why. Too much spending on fast food/restaurant, for example is a good is mostly now a part of our culture now that at the end of each year we spend a lot of money in the last quarter of the year as it is the festive season. However, we somehow forget that, after the festive season is the New Year and our finances determines how we kick start the new year. Research has shown that individual and family expenditure skyrocket every last quarter of the year globally and that is why each one of us needs to plan, budget and set realistic and achievable goals during the last quarter of the year.

The sad fact is that all sorts of obligations can linger past the point where the activity is interesting or of value. It’s hard to stop doing stuff, so instead of pruning “busyness” out of our lives, too often we fill up our schedules with awhole lot of things which does not have direct benefit to us. Yet, if you start checking in with your financial situation now-ish, you could make progress on your goals before next year starts.

This is no way to achieve greatness, if productivity is not your primary work. That’s why every year I evaluate my obligations, focus on what’s most important to me and create a new year “To Do List and “To Stop Doing List”. This amazing exercise really frees up time for reflection and allows you time to plan your New Year budget, set realistic goals and follow your goals or New Year resolutions, the very activities most likely to propel your personal life and your family and business going forward.

To Do List for Last Quarter of the Year

It is important to start right now on your “To Do List”. . I’m going to save more money. I’m going to aggressively pay down my debt. I’m going to try to boost my investment, buy a land or start building project, start a side gig etc,”

  1. Budget and make sure your holiday spending estimates are fully accounted for and honest

Soon enough, if not already, you might declare this and that financial resolution. But in December, there is the added risk of digging yourself into a deeper financial hole from all of that holiday spending. So, try to get ahead of that particular red flag by doing the math of what will cost you what — and be brutally honest.

For example, it’s all too easy to think ‘I’ll spend GHS400 on gifts’ and assume that’s all the extra spending you’ll do. Reality check? It’s probably not what the case because you would end up not tracking other expenses.

“They haven’t accounted for, you know, the new bedspread, towels, kitchen stuff, phone credit they are going to buy for the house and friends because guests are coming or the extra food that they are going to spend money on to have a big family dinner or the travel costs they are going to incur to go visit family, in-laws friends, somebody and on and on and on,

So, factor in all of the costs. And if you want to save/invest more in 2020, or hit some other milestone, you may want to find ways to reduce the expenses before it’s too late.

  • Take Stock of Your Finances

Take stock of your finances, including debt, savings, and investments, creditors, and cash flows. We know: it can feel painful and emotional to do so especially when you have not planned from the beginning to have a benchmark. But, it will give you a baseline to help you decide what to do next. It is also very important to stake stock of your financial goals and resolutions you made from the beginning of the year. Just make sure you look at these numbers, says Jerry J,Afolabi,founder and chief executive of MONEYTALK & AFOJEL CONSULT.

If you didn’t hit them, don’t dwell on defeat. Instead, learn from what happened or didn’t happen. And regardless of where you are at, it’s better to check in than not over the long haul.Make sure you have control of your finances “Your money telling you what to do instead of you telling it what to do is really not going to allow you to live the life that you want to live.

  • Review your employment situation and the goals you have made

Make time to review and think about your employment situation especially with where you are going on career path wise or life wise and where, how you want to go as it will inevitably tie to one side of your balance sheet; your income, earnings and cash flows potentials.

Undoubtedly, I think it’s one of the most important and biggest thing most people could do that is really underrated right now in our society. The better you review this and your financial goals the better for you as it a catalyst for you getting to your destination.

Consider your total enumeration, other earnings that your employer pays you and take a decision whether you need to do something different, move on or stay.

I advise you focus on what your goals are and how you want to accomplish them, what are the tools, ideas, decisions and the networks you need in order to accomplish your goals, whether it’s a new job or a side hustle you need.

One of the most important things we tend to forget to review is our personal cash flows and how to increase them since all financially goals, decisions and ideas can mostly be achieved when there is consistent cash flow. Every individual needs multiple cash flows especially if you want to be financially free and comfortable and I give examples how you can increase your cash flow;

  • Drive as Uber on your free time
  • Sign on as a mobile money vender at your office
  • Become a distributer of products of a company
  • Cutting grass or mow lawns for houses etc
  • Monetize your hobbies; cooking, baking, teaching on weekends, speak at occasions, event planning, etc.
  • Review your Savings/Investment and Retirement Contributions

Most of us do not review our retirement contributions because we think the SSNIT contributions are enough for us and so we go to sleep on it. Indeed it may be enough if you are on a higher remuneration lever in your career or your earnings are in the upper class level but if you are a middle income or lower level income earner, you need to review your SSNIT contributions and if possible contribute more to other retirement funds reason being that depreciation is a money cancer and by the time you realize your contribution has lost value when you need it most, time value of money.

My advice for people is that if you fall in these age categories, this is what you need to save for retirement;

  • 18-35; Save 18% of your income towards your retirement.
  • 36-45; Save just 10% towards your retirement because during this period you are building your family, business and taking care of a lot of cost items
  • 46-60; Save at least 22% towards your retirement because you are actually preparing to retire and you would have consolidated all you side hustles/gigs.

Again, most of us do not even save at all talk less of reviewing what we contribute or save. I advise every individual who wish for financial freedom to start consistent savings from year 2020 and must be reviewed on yearly bases. Investment is very important in the financial freedom equation and that is why I recommend each person to have a portfolio of investment every year, ie cash, mutual funds, commodities, estates etc.

  • Be Intentional & Firm about all your Decisions

At this time of year, you’ll be getting a lot of opinions on what you ought to do with your money including pressure from family members. But only you know what you want. So, while spending pressure may be overflowing this holiday season, consider what you really want to achieve. Perhaps that means making gifts, instead of buying them, to avoid overspending. But prepare to be courageous your verdict may very well go against the social norms of your circle at an emotionally charged time of year.

“Everyone has different ideas of what the holidays should be,” Jerry J.Afolabi. “Love and family and friendship and relationships and money, everything gets all tangled up at this time of this year. So, it’s hard to kind of keep your footing. … Come January, you don’t want to be completely blindsided and you don’t want to be full of regret. Regret is a very expensive emotion. I would want everyone to do things intentionally whatever they decide to do.”

To STOP Do List for Last Quarter of the Year

  1. Making Excuses. Successful people do not blame others or make excuses or complain about their bad luck. They take full responsibility for their lives. They know that success and failure lie in their hands. So stop being a victim, stop whining and stop making excuses.
  2. Drifting. Winners have a plan. They have a direction and a purpose. They do not drift through life hoping for the best. They set goals and then set about achieving them.  If you approach each day in a happy go lucky way then stop. Stop drifting and start planning. Develop a vision of a successful you. List what you have to do to get there. Plan your work then work your plan.
  3. Sitting in Front of a Computer All Day (or worse still…a TV). Sure there are some important things you can do sitting at your screen but do not spend all day there. Get out and meet people, network, learn. Do things with the people you want to lead or help or do business with.
  4. Putting Things Off. Procrastination is the enemy of success. Decide on your objective, list out the tasks you have to complete, prioritize them and then get on with the top ones. We all suffer the temptation to put off the jobs we fear or dislike.  Bite the bullet. Eat the frog. Do the job.
  5. Just the Easy Stuff. Which tasks do you spend most time on? The important, the urgent, the easy or the routine? If you spend most of your time on easy or less important tasks then stop. You should focus first on the most important jobs, the ones that will move you towards your strategic objective. You should delegate or ignore the low value activities.
  6. Sitting in Ineffective Meetings. Do you waste time at work in low-value meetings? Most office workers do. Every meeting should have a clear purpose, an agenda and focused on delivering its objectives.  Do not go to poor meetings just ask for a summary of agreed actions.
  7. Limiting your Ambition. Successful people have enormous self-belief, drive and ambition. They hold themselves to high standards. Are you holding yourself back? Have you lost some of your self-belief and confidence? Start afresh. Set yourself ambitious goals. Remind yourself of your skills and achievements. Motivate yourself every day.

If you can eliminate the low value activities and the negative things you do then you will free yourself to succeed. Stop doing the things that you know are wasting your time and start building your success.

©Jerry. J.AFOLABI is a Financial & Economic expert who believes that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when given opportunity. Email;, Tel; +233541238987. #MONEYTALKGH SHOW#

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