In a few days we will say goodbye to an interesting 2016. It’s good to schedule some time to evaluate how we did during the year. Were we naughty or nice? What do we want to resolve in order to achieve our dream version of ourselves?
It could be both exciting and daunting if we start the year 2017 with dozens of New Year’s resolutions to do at once, all at the same time, that we may find ourselves faltering and giving up soon.
I made a list of fun things you can do this year, just one per month, to help improve money matters at home. I wish to share FQ Mom’s 2017 Monthly Calendar that you may print or keep in your device, in a folder you can retrieve easily and regularly. :) Have a great 2017 everyone!
January 2017 – The year is fresh. Resolve to live a High FQ life! Set your goals, and since almost all goals have a financial aspect, set your target Net Asset Value (Total Assets less Total Liabilities) for the year. Prepare your Balance Sheet now!
February 2017 – It’s Valentine month. Instead of the usual roses and dinner, whose prices can go ridiculously high during the season, be more creative. Give home-made coupons that say, “Free massage valid until…” or “Homemade dinner especially cooked by me on your date of choice” or anything that your loved one will surely appreciate.
March 2017 – Before you know it, the first quarter is done! Do your quarterly assessment of your financial (and other) goals. If you set out to save and invest this much at the start of the year, check if your Balance Sheet has achieved a quarter of the year’s goal. Do this every quarter end.
April 2017 – Summer season and the kids are restless and now you’re thinking of enrolling them in all sorts of summer classes. Yes it’s okay to do that but why don’t you challenge them to an earning activity this summer? What are your kids good at? Can they teach this skill for a fee? Can they sell some of their creations to earn this summer?
May 2017 – They say there’s a trend in the stock market to “Sell in May and go away.” Check if your investment portfolio can take advantage to buy blue chip stocks or funds during this dip in the market to add to your long-term investments.
June 2017 – Check school expenses. Hopefully, you already have allocated funds for their tuition and other school related expenses. Since this expense is pre-scheduled, there is no reason why you should be caught unaware and end up borrowing high interest bearing funds for your children’s future. Check their book list if you could borrow some from older siblings or friends. Pencil cases, bags and other items need not be changed every school year.
July 2017 – If your kids still don’t have it, set up a systematic saving scheme for them. If you give them weekly or monthly allowance, make sure that they save at least 10% of it right when they receive it. This is their training ground for Pay yourself first! – the golden rule in personal finance. Hopefully, this will become an automatic habit that they will bring with them in their adult life of High FQ!
August 2017 – After your kids have learned the discipline of regular saving, start with their regular investing lessons. For as low as PhP5,000, they can start their investment journey. Introduce to them age-appropriate investment lessons. Check out online options to buy mutual funds. They are tech savvy and can easily learn how to invest online. Go with the ones with automatic features so that investing will continue to happen even without the need to always count on that sometimes elusive discipline and will power to carry out regular investing.
September 2017 – The Philippines starts Christmas consciousness in September. So be more systematic in your Christmas shopping by starting early. Categorize your gift recipients. Are there gifts that you yourself can make to save on cost and to also personalize and consequently, make the gifts more meaningful?
October 2017 – Halloween season. In looking for scary costumes for your kids, why don’t you schedule a closet clean up? Check what items your and your kids’ closets can be taken out of that precious space. Aside from searching for possible Halloween pieces, check if there are items that you can sell or donate.
November 2017 – Christmas bonus season. Since this is a lump sum, try not to spend everything this Christmas. Set aside an amount larger than your monthly savings and investments this month.
December 2017 – Check how much you have spent for the year and compare it with your annual expense budget. Close the year with an assessment how you’ve been – have you been naughty or nice? If you’ve been naughty in your spending throughout the year, pause and imagine how your old age would be if you keep on doing that. Yes, it is important to do this activity because our human faculties are not equipped to easily see long-term effects.
Let me illustrate this to you. You see, it’s our immediate and correct reaction to take out our hand if we touch the hot surface of an oven because it’s painful and that pain is the sign that if we don’t do something about it, we will burn our hand. This is the upside of immediate pain. It compels us to do something about the bad situation immediately. Unfortunately, not all bad habits give us immediate painful feedback. This is the case for bad money habits. You spend unwisely today on a gadget you don’t need, but you won’t go hungry and homeless the next day. It takes months and years of splurging before you finally feel the bad effect.
So here’s my advice: Every yearend, check how naughty or nice you’ve been with money. Assess in numbers. Make rough estimates how much money you will likely have in 10, 20, 30 years (depending on your current age). Then imagine fast forward to your 60 or 70 or 80 year old self with that computed amount of money. How will you look like? Are the creases on your face laugh lines or sad wrinkles worrying about money and unpleasant relationships due to money problems? How comfortable or uncomfortable are you? Are you relying on your children to help you with your medical bills, or are you planning your next trip with your children and grandchildren, your treat! Hopefully, you’ll realize that the old you will depend on your habits now.
Will you achieve your desired old you if you continue with your past year’s earning and spending habits?
Cheers to a High FQ 2017!
Start the year right by knowing your FQ Score, click link to take the test. Your feedback is welcome.
Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. She also contributes to various magazines. Follow her on Facebook and You Tube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom, and visit her website FQMom.com.
Attribution: Photos from addison6thgrade.blogspot.com, all-free-download.com, Amusingtime.com, Canstockphoto.com, cid.org.tr, Clipart Kid, Clipart Of, clipartfest.com, Colourbox, davidastley.net, First Grade, freedesignfile.com, ifreepic.com, LUXaholic, Shutterstock, tocamoca.com, VectorToons.com, Weclipart, WordPress.com, WPClipart, Pixabay, Pinterest put together to deliver the message of the article.