While many of you have probably already hit the gym to get the year off to a physically fit start, here’s how you can exercise your financial muscle as well in 2019.
It’s a brand new year filled with renewed hope, dreams, aspirations and all sorts of gooey and saccharine one-liners you can think about that are sure to make every Top 10 cringe compilation list by the end of the year.
One of the most peculiar traits of the human species is its propensity to associate the flipping of a calendar page with the sudden urge to stretch every physical sinew in a mostly futile attempt at building a herculean frame or running 5 miles without complete cardiovascular meltdown.
In any case, regardless of what your resolutions concerning that bulging belly are, 2019 should certainly be the year you exercise your financial muscle. If you’ve conjured images in your head of doing a hundred push-ups with vaults of money stacked upon your back, well, you certainly have a vivid imagination, albeit a slightly peculiar one.
When we say you need to exercise your financial muscle, we mean getting into the habit of saving, investing and budgeting. Just as the body requires a consistent exercise routine to develop over time, your finances do as well. Think of your money as an extra muscle. The more attention and care you give it, the larger it will grow, while the more you neglect it, the faster it dwindles.
Additional Reading: How To Set New Fitness Goals For Yourself And Your Bank Account
So, kick back on your couch with a yummy protein shake and find out how you can turn yourself into a financial He-Man or She-Ra. That’s right! We shall show you the whey!
Flex Your Budgeting Biceps
If you’re someone who ends up diving into the back of your sofa hoping to find some loose change to get you through the end of the month, well then you have a budgeting problem.
It’s all well and good to see your bank balance bursting at the seams at the start of every month, but there really is no point getting all giddy about it if you’re scrambling for cash as the month wears on. Sure, we all tend to get carried away when payday comes, but unless we exercise (there’s that word again) good budgeting sense, we’re bound to live a hand-to-mouth existence for the foreseeable future.
To help you get up and running, we suggest you follow the 50-20-30 rule of budgeting. It really is quite simple. The 50 stands for 50% of your salary that should be used for necessary expenses such as utility bills, rent, Credit Card and loan payments, groceries, etc. Basically, anything that counts as an absolute necessity.
The 30 stands for 30% of your salary that should be put aside for a rainy day. In essence, this is the amount you need to save every month, and if you happen to come upon extra funds, by all means, divert it here.
Don’t worry. We aren’t party poopers. The 20 stands for 20% of your salary that you can blow on all the stuff that turns your grey matter into mush. Movies, wining and dining, gadgets or whatever it is that takes your fancy. After all, every exercise program lets you have a cheat day every now and then. Just make sure you don’t overdo it or you’ll end up back at square one.
Additional Reading: How To Become The Rockstar Of Budgeting
Supplement Your Savings
You’ve probably heard of bodybuilders taking all kinds of supplements to help them grow bigger and stronger until the veins on their arms resemble a road map of Delhi. Well, similarly, building your savings will certainly keep you financially robust especially during times of emergencies or sudden cash crunches.
Building a contingency fund should be among the top of your priorities since it will give you a solid safety net to fall back on should you face times of financial strife. This will help you meet unexpected expenses, which would otherwise throw your finances into disarray faster than you can say burpee.
Ideally, a good contingency fund should amount to at least six months of your salary. This will give you a strong financial base to build from, not to mention added peace of mind knowing that you’re well covered monetarily to face any exigency.
Additional Reading: Savings Plans For Different Income Groups
Incline To Invest
Love showing off your pecs in the gym after a solid incline bench press workout? Well, questionable imagery aside, it’s time to puff that chest of yours and start investing your money.
While saving money is all fine and dandy, letting it sit idle and hoping it will be enough to tackle rising expenses is akin to you lounging on your couch hoping to grow a six-pack. What you need to do is invest in instruments like Fixed Deposits, Mutual Funds, Recurring Deposits, etc. to make your wealth grow exponentially over time.
In fact, you could even invest in long-term savings schemes like the Public Provident Fund that will certainly tide you over during your post-retirement years while also giving you excellent tax benefits. Remember, the same way you invest in your physical self to get stronger and healthier, investing your money in the right avenues can see you achieve peak financial health in no time.
Additional Reading: 15 Things You Need To Know About PPF
Remember, a sound financial mind makes for good financial health, so crack those knuckles and get down to business. If you’re looking for a plethora of top-notch financial products to get you started, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Now put that bag of chocolate chip cookies down and munch on some broccoli.