Have you recently had too many sleepless nights or distracted days at work worrying about money? Do you have enough money put away in your Savings Account? This has become an epidemic, with people struggling to fulfil their unlimited desires with limited means. Worrying about finances doesn’t just affect the quality of your life but also of those around you. It affects your health, lifestyle and relationships.
Earning a higher income doesn’t always solve your money worries. Nor is worrying about your money going to help you manage it. Instead, you can take these steps to build your wealth.
Plan your finance
Before you create a savings and investment plan, you must set yourself some goals. Once you know your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals, you can find the best investment instruments for each goal. For example, goals of buying a house and saving for retirement come under the long-term category for which you can invest in Mutual Funds, PPF etc. For short-term goals such as buying a vehicle you can go for Liquid Mutual Funds. With a financial objective in place, you can organize your spending and savings better, and also be prepared to take on financial emergencies.
Make investment a habit and start as early as possible. Identify your investment assets based on your financial goals. Try and invest about 20-30% of your salary every month. Lock it away into savings and investment instruments at the beginning of the month and use the rest for your regular expenditure.
Control your expenses
Plan a budget and stick to it. Try not to spend more than what you have allocated for expenditure. The best way to do it is by prioritising savings over expenditure. Avoid reaching out for a credit instrument unless it’s necessary. Try to avoid using credit to buy depreciating assets, unless you really need them.
Manage your debt smartly
Have a repayment plan in place before you take a loan or pay through a Credit Card. This is because timely repayment is important when it comes to paying back a loan. Always pay your EMIs on time and Credit Card bills before the due date. Avoid defaulting on debt repayment, as it could lower your Credit Score and weaken your borrowing capacity. Timely payment helps in maintaining a healthy Credit Score.
With Credit Cards, try and keep your credit utilization low. Do not apply for unsecured loans frequently, as it can impact your Credit Score negatively. And borrow only the amount that you need.
Save up for emergencies
Fear of not being able to meet ends during a financially emergency is what worries people the most. Such emergencies can befall you as a job loss, prolonged illness etc. One way to survive such times is by maintaining a contingency fund.
An adequate contingency fund helps you to meet your financial obligations in situations when your regular source of income is stalled. A fund which is worth six to twelve months of one’s current income is considered sufficient for tackling such situations. You must also have adequate Life and Health policy to support you through emergencies.
Worries stop you from being hopeful about your future. Instead of scratching your head, channel your energy into planning and budgeting for your future. It will take care of all your needs.
(The author is CEO, BankBazaar.com)