2021 has wrapped as another rollercoaster of a year and it looks like we’re in for a bumpy start to 2022. You might be feeling mixed emotions entering the new year and understandably so!
While there’s a lot going on we can’t control, one thing we can take control of is our finances. Money might not buy happiness, but managing it well sure can bring calm. Whether you’re feeling good or guilty about your finances, it’s a great opportunity to pause, reflect and reset. At INVESTERA HQ, we like to schedule a special date with ourselves to check-in with our finances quarterly and at the close of the year, to set financial goals for the new year. It might feel a little odd to see financial planning as self care but taking ownership and responsibility of your finances is an act of self love.
We suggest blocking some time out in your calendar and choosing a setting that is where you can focus and feel inspired. Whether that’s taking yourself to your favourite coffee shop or clearing space on your desk and lighting a candle - something that makes you feel good! Get out a notebook and spend the time writing down what you wish to achieve with money in 2022.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself during your financial planning date:
1. What is my net worth?
Before writing any goals, it’s super important to know where you stand. Net worth is the ultimate measure of your financial situation. Not sure how to calculate it? Head over to our blog post here for a breakdown and our easy to use net worth calculator tool.
2. Am I prepared for the unexpected?
Building an emergency fund is extremely important. We’ve all had a brutal reminder of this over the past two years - anything can happen! Having a buffer layer of money set aside ready for those unexpected occasions can really help ease anxiety you might have around your finances and it’s a good practice to help to protect yourself for times of need. If you already have an emergency fund, well done! If not, learn more here about how to set one up and make sure you’re getting a good interest rate.
3. Have I maxed out my retirement contributions?
Maxing out your contributions to a tax advantaged retirement account is a great way to prepare for the future. If you have hit your emergency fund goal and paid off any high interest debt, you’re in a good position to do this. Check how much you’re contributing to your retirement account; if it’s not the max, up your contributions. In the USA, this is through an employer sponsored plan (like a 401k or 403b, latter is for gov't or nonprofit employees) or by opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
4. What do I need to learn to achieve your goals?
Investing in your own education around finance is one of the best ways to start your investment journey and build your financial intelligence. Many schools let us down by not teaching us the fundamentals of investing and personal finance growing up so it’s really left up to us to find resources to educate ourselves. If you’ve been feeling left out of the cryptocurrency conversation, take a look at our Bitcoin for Beginners Workshop.
5. How would I like to give back this year?
Growing wealth in a way that aligns with our values is at the heart of INVESTERA. We believe it’s important to feel comfortable and empowered by what you’re investing in and that means supporting organizations and causes you align with. Take some time to think about the organizations and industries you’d like to support in 2022. Charitable contributions are tax deductible so make sure you keep your receipts!
We hope these pointers will help you feel more calm about your finances heading into 2022. Remember, regardless of how you feel right now, taking some time to assess your situation and make a plan will help you clear your mind and improve your awareness of your own situation and where you want to get to - true self love!
Happy New Year & happy financial planning!