New Year's Resolution: Be better with money

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — With a tumultuous 2016 coming to a close, hopes are high for a fruitful 2017.

Like most of us, you might be plotting your New Year's resolution: Lose 30 pounds, be nicer to people, take up a new hobby, finally find "true love" (assuming it actually exists), which may or may not be just another failed promise.

Don’t get me wrong. Pushing to improve yourself is great and is something that you should work on every year. But did you know that you could also improve your finances with some simple changes to the way you treat cash?

Here are Security Bank's tips to being better with money in the New Year:

1. Know what you want.

Every great endeavor starts with a great plan, so be sure to write down what you hope to achieve for 2017 (and perhaps even farther).

Pro tip: don’t stick to motherhood statements like "Get a new phone by February" or "Spend all of October eating out." Make sure to be as detailed as possible on how you intend to achieve your goals: "Set aside ₱3,000 a month" or "Save ₱800 a week by eating out less." More importantly, be sure to set realistic goals; you wouldn’t want to set yourself up for disappointment as well.

2. Create a money trail.

Now that you have specific, measurable goals, you need to make sure that you're following each of them. This is perhaps the hardest but also the most important step.

It’s a good idea to maintain a simple monthly balance sheet of how much money is coming in (income) and how much is being spent (expenses). At best, doing this can help you save a lot by staying on track. At worst, it can help you save time wondering where you overspent. It's also for filing annual financial documents (like income tax returns).

3. Get rid of unnecessary accounts.

Let's be honest: do you really need five credit cards? And unless you make an illicit living as a money launderer, having multiple bank accounts is often a real pain.

Making your portfolio of financial assets (in other words, your cash and credit) more manageable allows you to better see where your money is going. And having full knowledge of what your cash does and where it goes is vital in helping you save and spend better.

4. Make money doing what you love.

That perked up your ears, didn’t it? Cliché as it sounds, nothing’s better than being paid for doing what you love.

Will anyone really buy these chocolate-chip-pistachio cookies shaped like rainforest animals? Would anyone actually pay me to teach them dance moves? Is my voice truly worth its weight in real gold?

For the New Year, find out if your talents can rake in the dough. Who knows? You might be lucky enough to earn extra cash to pursue your other passions.

5. Look ahead.

Wealth and financial security are games of anticipation. It's no longer just a matter of knowing how much you make or how much "indulgence money" you can have.

What if you're hospitalized for two weeks and your health insurance can't cover all the expenses? What if your car suddenly needs a new engine? Or, perish the thought, what if something happens to your house and you need to rent a condominium?

When things like these weigh on your mind, it’s time to take a good look at your financial windfall: "Should I buy that new smartphone now (even though it will be outdated in two months) or should I invest that cash to make it grow?"

6. Get help.

Speak of investing, many people are scared to get into it because of the sea of seemingly meaningless numbers and the hardbound dictionary of financial gobbledegook that come with the territory.

Thankfully, there are some investment options that are less migraine-inducing than others.

With Security Bank, you can open a unit investment trust fund (UITF) with as little as ₱10,000, with the option of adding more value to your fund in the future. Investment periods range from three months up to three years, depending on the nature of the fund.

And you need not fret over your UITF since Security Bank’s professional fund managers work round-the-clock to make sure your money grows. And if you need the cash right away, you also need not worry because Security Bank UITFs are liquid — meaning you can subscribe or redeem on any banking day.

To learn more about UITFs, please visit www.securitybank.com/uitf or email trustmarketing@securitybank.com.ph.

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