A progress report before the year ends

Written by Lisa Pallavi Barbora

Lisa Pallavi Barbora is a Senior Consultant for Content at WFAN. Lisa is also a founder of MoneyPuzzle.in In her earlier avatar, she was a National Writer and Consultant for HT Mint - a premier business journal in India.

December 8, 2020

The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on what passed through the year. Not just in your professional life but your personal life too. Usually, we think of a progress report as one that shows us our achievement and contrasts them with missed opportunities. That’s what it should be, but ever thought about what to include in this personal progress report?

Along with all your other goals don’t forget to add your progress report for your money relationship and money management.

Money progress report

Your money progress report is not really about how much more of it you have at the end of a year as compared to when you started the year. That outcome can be a result of many different factors, some of which may not be in your control.

It is more about whether you were able to nurture your money relationship in a way that made it easy for you to achieve the goals you kept for yourself.

For example, if you started your year thinking you will invest a certain amount of money every month towards your retirement but come October ended up withdrawing a chunky amount because your friends have planned a one-week getaway. This will be a negative mark in your money progress report.

If on the other hand, you were able to save up more than desired in the first 10 months and have taken out some of that excess investment for the getaway, then perhaps you can give yourself a tick on the money progress report.

Everyone’s money progress report for 2020 will look different. It’s because we all have a varied set of financial goals and objectives. Not everyone wants to buy a house, some prefer to use up the amount going into a monthly loan instalment to save for buying expensive gadgets instead. Life has a different purpose for each of us and that’s why our money journey and our money progress report will not only be different but also incomparable.

The objective of the progress report is for you to understand whether you reached your goals or not. Here are some things you can check to understand what your progress report might look like.

  • Did you save the amount you wanted to each month? How many months did you fall short?

  • When making an investment choice, was it your decision or someone else’s?

  • Were you able to shrug off any limiting notions about earning, owning and spending money?

  • Were you successful in sharing some of your wealth with those in need?

  • How many times a month did you overspend?

  • Were you able to meet your financial goals set to be achieved this month?

  • Are you on track to achieving your long-term financial goals?

  • Has your family debt increased or decreased?

  • If you have a financial advisor sit with them to understand where you are in your financial plan achievement.

  • If you don’t have an advisor, figure out if you need one based on this progress report!

Control your progress

Checking on your financial health and progress each year will help you control the outcome better. Don’t leave everything to chance and don’t always let others make the decisions for you. Whether you live alone or with a family understanding and contributing to the money journey will help you harness its utility most efficiently. There are four main parts to this, earning, saving, spending and giving. Make sure you include all these in your money progress report and take stock of where you are versus where you want to be.

Your next year’s money plan then can be built on this foundation which you have built in this year. When this cycle repeats every year, you will have a clear direction on the role that money plays in your life and how you would like to see it move forward.

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