It’s time to identify your fiscal aspirations and stay focused on achieving them.
If you’re like most, you’re ready for a new year with fewer challenges to your health and wealth than 2020 presented. While this post won’t help you avoid Covid or shed any of that unwanted quarantine weight, it will give you essential tips to refocus your financial goals.
Even if you don’t care for annual “resolutions,” the new year is a perfect time to reflect on the past, analyze the present and dream about the future. That’s the best way to bridge the gap between where your personal and business finances are today and where you’d like them to be.
Having goals and an overarching plan is one of the easiest ways to control your finances and reduce stress. Use these tips to identify your big and small financial goals and stay focused on achieving them in 2021.
1. Do an annual review
No matter if looking back at the past year is painful or fun, you can probably learn lessons that will make next year better. Ask yourself critical questions about your personal and professional life, including:
- What did I accomplish last year that I’m proud of?
- What, if anything, worked out well for my finances?
- Which business products or services brought me the most profit?
- What about last year disappoints me the most?
- Where are my best opportunities for financial growth?
- What did last year teach me?
Use an accountant or accounting software to run financial reports, such as an income statement (also known as a profit and loss or P&L statement) for last year. It shows your revenue and expenses for a given period. Review what you earned and spent, and look for ways to increase your profit.
2. Analyze your current finances
After you look back at the prior year, turn your attention to your current financial situation. By running a balance sheet or updating a personal financial statement, you’ll have a snapshot of your financial health today.
Your balance sheet shows what your business owns, owes and the owner’s equity. Likewise, a personal financial statement shows your assets and liabilities and calculates your personal net worth.
If you’re not comfortable reading various financial reports, get help from a business consultant or accountant so you can use these valuable tools to better manage your personal and business finances.
3. Dream about the future
For financial goals to stick, they need to be meaningful to you and your family. Spend time thinking about how you want your business to evolve. Consider what you want your life to be like in the near future. What business and personal accomplishments would you be proud to achieve between now and then?
If it’s difficult for you to dream about a new and improved future, another approach is to identify aspects of your financial life that worry you the most. Do you need to find a business partner, use better contractors or accumulate a bigger cash reserve to ride out lean times? Creating solutions that reduce your business and personal stress can be terrific goals to achieve in 2021.
You might choose a word, slogan or theme for the year to rally around and support your financial goals. For instance, 2021 could be “The Year of Reinvention,” “The Year of Emergency Savings” or “The Year of Outsourcing.”
4. Build goals into your budget
Once you’ve reviewed the past, analyzed where you are now and fully considered what you want to accomplish, it’s time to incorporate your goals into your financial plan or budget. Most accounting programs link up with your financial accounts so you can budget, create reports, pay bills and perform many advanced functions.
Once you understand your cash flow, you may need to alter it to meet your goals. For example, if you want to max out a retirement account for the self-employed or build a cash reserve in 2021, you can break it down into smaller quarterly or monthly goals.
If you don’t shape your spending plan to account for your business or personal financial goals, they aren’t likely to happen.
5. Remember your goals
After the shine of a new year wears off, it’s easy to forget your financial goals. One way to make sure you stick to them is through the use of automation. Here are some ways you might automate your financial goals in 2021:
- Use digital tools, such as automatic email sequences, to connect with existing and potential customers and gain market share.
- Set up automatic contributions to a retirement account for the self-employed — such as an IRA, SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) — before you have the chance to spend them.
- Create recurring transfers from your business or personal checking into a savings account to build your cash cushion.
- Set up recurring payments to send extra toward debt that you want to get rid of faster.
Read the full article here >> https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/362508
Car insurance premiums are getting more expensive every year, and you’re looking for a way to cut costs. You may be surprised that there are some ways you can lower your premium that you never thought of. Give these five things a shot and see how low you can get your monthly insurance cost.
1. Improve your Credit Score
It’s a little-known fact that your insurance provider uses your credit score to determine the price of your premium. Some states have made it an illegal practice, but many states still use your credit score to determine the likelihood that you’ll get in an accident. This is because some studies have shown links between a low credit score and instances of accidents. The higher your credit score, the lower your premium could be. You can check your state laws to see if you’re in one of the states that allows a credit-based insurance policy.
2. Shop Around
No matter what you’re buying, you need to shop around—even for car insurance. One company could have an extremely high price while another has the same benefits for half the cost. Keep in mind that while price is important, you need to compare policy details as well. A cheaper policy may or may not offer the same coverage as one that’s much more expensive. You can ask companies to match your current plan so you can be sure to get the same deductibles and coverages.
3. Ask for Higher Deductibles
Higher deductibles cause you to pay more if you were to get in an accident or file a claim. Since you’re paying more, that means that the insurance company is paying less—meaning they’ll charge you a lower premium. Asking for deductibles of over $1,000 or more can make you see significant discounts on your monthly insurance bill.
4. Seek Out Discounts
Insurance companies don’t come out and tell you about discounts you could be receiving. In fact, it can be hard to cajole the representative to tell you the discounts for which you’re eligible. You could be surprised how much money you’d save with a safe driver or good student discount. Some companies also allow you to use a camera or tracking equipment to determine if you drive safely for even deeper discounts on your monthly bill. Some of the most common discounts you can ask about are safe-driver, defensive driver, and low mileage.
5. Compare Insurance Before Buying a Car
Purchasing a vehicle is a big decision and it can take days or weeks for you to decide which car to buy, but you should always talk to your insurance company before purchasing. Some cars cost more to insure than others, meaning if you’re on the fence between two choices, your insurance company can help you decide by telling you which would be cheaper. Plus, it’s good to know how much a car will cost before you purchase it and realize your insurance goes up hundreds of dollars.
UK consumers are worried about the long-term survival of digital challenger banks, according to a new report.
Accenture’s Global Banking Study reveals 45 per cent of consumers believed that neobanks would exist in 12 months’ time. Additionally, just a tenth placed “a lot” of trust in the fintechs to look after their data, compared to 41 per cent for traditional banks.
Most worryingly for the UK’s fintechs, 20 per cent responded “not at all” when asked if they trusted neobanks to look after their financial wellbeing.
Digital challengers like Monzo and Revolut have introduced new features this year to convince customers to claw back some of their losses.
Revolut more than tripled its losses from 2018 in its annual report released in August. Although the neobank saw a rise in its customer base during the first lockdown, it saw a decline in interchange revenue, which makes up over 60 per cent of its income.
Monzo reported losses had more than doubled to £113.8m last year.
When asked the main reasons why consumers would not bank with a challenger book, half said they were happy with their current provider, while 42 per cent said they were unfamiliar with what they offer.
Accenture’s report also reveals that the significant uptick in the use of digital banking, which has removed in-person branch interactions, has eroded consumer trust.
Accenture’s figures show less than a third – 30 per cent – of UK consumers trust banks to look after their long-term financial wellbeing, compared with 44 per cent two years ago.
“This mass acceleration to digital is a double-edged sword for banks, said Peter Kirk, Accenture’s UK customer insight and growth practice lead. “While the necessary digitalisation of their services has helped them to support customers throughout the pandemic, it has all but removed the vital human element from banking.”
Read the full article here >> https://www.cityam.com/uk-consumers-question-sustainability-of-challenger-banks/