“New year, new me,” times five years. This might just be the resolution to end all resolutions.
By: Vida Lacano

A great deal of flooding happened on social media during the first day of 2016—status flooding, that is—highlighting all the New Year’s resolutions made by people within our network. What’s noticeable in this stream of posts, though, is a lot of these resolutions, while generally positive and doable, are almost always short-sighted, generating results that may only have impact for a short period of time. Soon enough, right after the Christmas break we see people whipping themselves up into shape in order to get fit without really studying one’s physical needs, or improving some aspects of their lives which almost always ends up being more about aesthetics than personal growth. Then they end up falling into this rut of struggling to keep up the resolve to follow their resolutions long after the fireworks display has ended. So if you have to choose just one resolution to stick to even long after the holiday revelry has wrapped up, make it the best one: this year, make a resolution to invest in something that pays for itself in years to come. A great start would be investing in a property, like a condo unit in the middle of a busy business district.

2016 resolution: invest in good property

For one, property investment is actually something that most of us could do. But just like any New Year’s resolution, it takes dedication and commitment and complete resolve to be able to see yourself through paying and finally owning your own asset—in this context, your own condo unit. So if your 2015 were spent mindlessly blowing your money on random stuff, then 2016 will have to see changes in your lifestyle. Allow us to enumerate the lifestyle changes you can do to jumpstart your property investment project:

1. Make financial allocations

When you’re young and wild and free, there will always be this tendency for you to be reckless with your finances. Making financial allocations allows you to keep tab of your monthly paycheck. Non-negotiable expenses aside, your money should be allocated to padding the numbers on your life savings, and setting aside some of it for investing in your soon-to-own property. Did you know that a consistently allocated eight thousand pesos (Php8,000.00) a month can buy you a condo unit in 5 years?

2. Live simpler

Notice how “non-negotiable expenses” is in bold in our statement on item number 1? Make a shortlist of the things that’s currently chewing on your finances, and then start crossing out things in the name of living simpler. Do you really need two phone lines? Do you still really need your cable subscription even if you hardly got the time to turn on your TV? You’ll be surprised to know there are some things you really don’t need in your life, thereby clearing you of liabilities.

3. Make a budget and stick to it

This is something you should be championing now as an adult. Make a conscious effort to stick to a budget so that you don’t go overboard with your expenses. A simple search on Google Play Store or Apple App Store will yield a lot of results for free apps that could help you keep track of your financial situation, so that you still get to allocate Php8,000.00 or more intended for your property investment.

4. If in doubt, give yourself a four-way test

Consider giving yourself a four-way test when you’re faced with deciding between buying/paying for something that’s way over your budget. Ask yourself the following questions:

– Is it a need? If yes, go. If no, don’t.

– Will it make me really happy? If yes, go. If no, don’t.

– Is it fair to your budget? If yes, go. If no, don’t.

– Will it make you a better person? If yes, go. If no, don’t.

If your answer to majority of the questions is no, then don’t buy. Instead, funnel that cash into your investment.

5. Fight the monster inside all of us that is Impulse Buying.

Impulse Buying is basically buying something on a whim. No planning, no second guessing, nothing. We all have days when you just want to buy the first designer bag–or shoes–you see on display while navigating the mall for a different purpose. You can circumvent this sometimes powerful monster inside you by avoiding the ways and means that lead you to impulse buying, such as grocery shopping while hungry, or making an unplanned trip to the mall. Make that mental Q&A if it’s still worth paying for an expensive bag that would only occupy space in your room because there are already four other expensive bags in your possession. Anyway, you always have the four-way test mentioned above to help you justify these purchases. So imagine being able to stave off on mindless purchases and instead setting aside all the money saved to securing a property investment. Now that’s smart.