Be more intentional with your finances this year — Tiffany Lawson

Keisha Hill
Keisha Hill

February 7, 2022

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Think of some of your biggest dreams in life. You want to own a beautiful home. You want to provide for your family. You want to be able to travel the world and experience incredible adventures. What’s preventing you from doing these things?

More often than not, the answer is money. While you might be able to reach some of these goals as time goes on, to achieve them all while remaining in a good place moneywise, you need to establish financial freedom.

For many people, true financial freedom seems like a far-fetched dream. We spend more time working and have a poor work-life balance, yet make less money. What is the solution to all of these seemingly impossible obstacles?

According to Tiffany Lawson, executive financial advisor at Sagicor Life Insurance Company, the goal is to take responsibility and make the changes you desire and earn enough to be able to get into a habit of saving.

Lawson was a guest presenter at Flair‘s Begin Your Year With Flair Master Class, an interactive and informative webinar with the objective of assisting participants to be intentional about their finances.

“Set smart goals, specific, measurable, realistic and time-specific goals. If you are someone who is earning $1 million per year, you cannot say that this year you are going to earn $10 million without changing your job or improving your financial resources. It is not going to happen. You have to have practical goals,” Lawson said.

Lawson encouraged the participants to document their financial goals. “I strongly believe in documentation. You need something to remind you each day of what these goals are and give you that extra push to get going. You need to be intentional with your goals setting, and part of that is reminding yourself every day of what your why is,” she said.

Tracking your spending, she said, is often the first step in getting your finances in order. By understanding what you spend money on and how much you spend, you can see exactly where your cash is going and areas where you can cut back.

“The idea of tracking your expenses can feel overwhelming, especially if you have been avoiding it for a while or have never done it before. But, once you get started really looking at your budget and finances, you will feel a sense of relief and control. Finally, getting on top of your money and debts comes with huge payoffs, peace of mind and no more debts,” Lawson said.

She indicated that knowing where your money is going makes it easier for you to set a budget. “Creating a budget is a great way to track where your money goes each month and an important step to getting your finances in order. A budget can make it easier for you to achieve financial milestones, such as building an emergency fund or saving for a downpayment on a home,” Lawson said.

While the task may seem daunting, it is not that difficult to create a budget. Once you have one, the bulk of the work is done, and you can make minor tweaks as your spending habits or income change.

She also stated that, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, it might seem an uphill task saving for an emergency fund. However, Lawson encouraged the participants to set aside money to cover life’s unexpected events. The money will allow you to live for a few months, should you happen to lose your job or pay for something unexpected that comes up without going into debt.

“Think of it as an insurance policy. Rather than paying premiums to a company, you are paying yourself money that you can use at a later date. The cash can be accessed quickly and easily if some unfortunate event happens to occur,” she said.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com

Keisha Hill

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Keisha Hill

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