Think about what you'd want to do if tomorrow, money was no longer an issue. Would you start a business? Travel the world? Pay off your debts? Build your dream home? Most of us have a long list of financial goals—but everyone is on a different journey. We have our own set of responsibilities. But it doesn't mean we can't slowly work towards financial freedom. It may be a long process, but 2021 could be the year you start. We asked Jem Empaynado and Chieri Nagase, the financial advisors of TIPid, for some realistic goals you may want to set in the coming year.  

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1. Set up your bank accounts.

We know that you probably already have one, but putting your eggs in different baskets may be a smarter choice. Have separate ones for specific purposes (savings, expenses, emergency fund, travel fund, etc). Jem and Chieri is all about saving for a purpose: "Having different accounts ensures that your funds for a designated need remains intact no matter what. For example, you won't have to dip into your travel fund for car repair if your emergency fund is set up." And speaking of which...

2. Build your emergency fund.

This is probably something you always tell yourself but can't seem to start on. Well, now is a good time as any. A good cushion is the sum of three to six months worth of your monthly expenses: "Put it in a liquid but high-yielding instrument for rainy days and unexpected life events."

3. Create a list of your utang.

"Eliminate (or at least reduce) your debts by listing it down. Afterwards, compare interest rates and eliminate in order of the one that charges the highest interest (we hate paying interest charges!)."

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4. Consider investing in insurance.

We have several articles about this, but it's always an important thing to mention. Life insurance, for example, is a good option; if you already have one, do a policy review to check if your coverage is enough. TIPid explains, "Whether you are building a family or you are single, there are a lot of ways you can make use of your life insurance while you are still alive! Critical illness insurance [can also be beneficial] because PhilHealth and HMOs are not enough and can only do so much for you."

5. Start investing as soon as you can.

When it comes to investments, timing matters. According to Jem and Chieri, you can open a mutual online for as low as P100! "No matter how big or small, start the habit this New Year! Investing is not a privilege but something everybody must do to avoid losing money and making money work for you (even when you sleep!)."

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