Your Financial To-Do list in 2018   Jan 02, 2018


Financial

With the arrival of 2018, surely many are resolving to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

And there is no doubt for one should look after their health, as it is rightly said — ‘Health is wealth’.



This year along with your fitness resolution, make a to-do list to shape-up your finances. In 2018, plan your finances well in advance so that you live in abundance of good health and wealth. At PersonalFN, we always wish and aim for a happy financial year for our readers. And year after year, we intend to stand by you to bring more joy with sound and prudent financial planning.

This year as we wish and intend that you become richer in 2018 😊

10 financial to-do list pointers for 2018 are as follows:
 
  1. Asses your current financial standing

    As you step into 2018, learn where your finances currently stand and take the right step forward. Here’s how to start —  assess all that you own and all that you owe. Write down all your assets and current investments. Check if your portfolio needs a bit of tweaking.

    Do not hesitate to ask for assistance from a professional financial planner. Adjust the asset allocation if necessary. Avoid sitting on investments which no longer provide nourishment to your financial health.

    Also, keep a track on your debt obligation. Ideally, your total debt outgo (including all the EMIs) should not exceed 40% of your gross income.
     
  2. Set SMART goals

    Once you are clear about where you stand, you can now write down the goals for 2018. For example, you might want to buy a new cell phone or a new car. You might want to take a family vacation next year or renovate your home. 

    But this year, set SMART goals —Specific + Measurable + Adjustable + Realistic + Time-based.

    Some people prefer to keep it simple when they think of goals. 

    They want to become rich. That's it, in a nutshell. 

    If you think about it, being wealthy, or wealthier than you are today, would enable you to do all those other things easily. If your main financial goal is to become rich, studies show that most likely, you won't achieve it.  For example, a vague goal would be: 'Become rich'. 

    A specific goal would be, 'Increase investments by Rs. 50,000 p.m. to have a portfolio of Rs. 2 crore within 15 years'. 

    (Read this to learn – How to Set S.M.A.R.T Financial Goals)


     

     
  3. Save more and save before you spend

    “Don’t save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after savings”.

    Very often we quote Warren Buffett because this is one mantra which works like magic.

    Save more this year and save before you spend. By this we do no ask you to compromise on your current lifestyle. But, you can bring small changes in your current spending habits and save more.

    To create wealth in the long-term, investing with discipline and determination is the key. Hence, you too, need to save and invest regularly to meet your financial goals.

    Watch this video to know more about savings and investments:
     

    Investing small amounts regularly will also prove to be light on your wallet and reduce the burden of investing a huge sum at one go.
     
  4. Have a plan to clear off the debt

    Make sure you pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Credit cards charge the highest interest rate. If you are unable to repay the entire credit card debt for a month, pay as much as you can and carry the minimum possible amount forward. The moment you carry your payment to the next monthly cycle, you will have to pay interest on the unpaid amount along with taxes – which is a very expensive in the long run.

    Although loans are an easy and quick way to get access to a huge sum of money, it might prove to be detrimental for your financial health. Especially in cases where you might be unable to pay the monthly repayments.

    Loans and financial obligations must always be taken seriously and repaid in due time as any default on the payments can harm your credit rating and ability to seek loans in the future. 
     
  5. Create a Contingency Fund

    Life isn't always black and white. There are grey shades too. It is a prudent practice to account for six months to two years of regular monthly expenses (including EMI on loans). This will provide some cushion in case of loss of job, medical emergency, or any unfortunate event that happens most unexpectedly and ruins your financial health.

    Watch this video to know how to build a contingency reserve:
     

     
  6. Plan for vacations beforehand

    If you have a travel destination on mind for this year, start planning for it now. Check the best time to visit and create an itinerary.

    When you plan a few weeks or few months ahead, you get a huge cost benefit—cheap flights, discounted hotel stay, early-bird offers, and what not. Apart from this, planning your itinerary will ensure that you make best use of your time. At the end of it, you will be satisfied that your money was well spent.
     
  7. Chose auto debit facility to pay your utility bills

    In this era of technology and plastic money, be smart, bank smart!

    Set your calendar with alerts to pay your utility, mobile bills on time; it can even earn you points for a good credit score !

    The best option is Auto-pay. This is an option where once you store the billers’ details, the bill amount will be automatically debited from your account the following month. Hence, you need not worry, as the system records your bill cycle naturally.

    Once your bill payments are paid online, you can keep a track of your expenses and tweak them as and when needed.
     
  8. Look beyond Section 80C to save tax

    This year as apart of your tax saving exercise, look beyond the Section 80C.

    For many, tax planning starts as well as ends with Section 80C of Income-tax Act, 1961. However, investing only in these investment instruments will not optimally reduce your tax liability.

    Under Section 80E you are eligible for a deduction on the interest paid towards an Education Loan. With this, you can avail of an education loan for yourself, your spouse, children, or for any person (minor) in case you are their legal guardian.

    Further, our Income Tax Act also considers the humane side of our life. Hence, if you donate to certain specified funds, charitable institutions, approved educational institutions, etc. on humanitarian grounds, that donation amount qualifies for a deduction from your taxable income under Section 80G.

    Hence, there are many other options available apart from Section 80C which you should look into.
     
  9. Update your KYC

    You would be aware that Know Your Customer (KYC) is a prerequisite to invest in mutual funds and almost all financial instruments. It is a vital compliance on the part of financial product manufacturers, to know their investors better. 

    The importance of having an Aadhaar is clearly on the rise. As the story goes, the unique identification number was launched to bring efficiency and transparency to the implementation of public schemes and to provide direct benefit transfers.

    Hence, update your KYC details with all the financial institutes regularly or as and when there is a change in your details, such as your permanent address, name, etc.
     
  10. Start planning for your retirement , NOW

    By nature, Indians are 'savers'. The number one rule of saving money is 'pay yourself first'. It is a prudent practice to set aside a percentage of one's income towards savings before using the money for other things, including paying bills. The thumb rule is to save at least 10% of your income, towards your retirement .

    To know in detail how to plan for you golden years, watch this video:
     
To sum-up:

Step into your new year with a plan. Set goals and a lay plan to achieve them. Remember with prudent Financial Planning you can achieve goals which otherwise look unattainable. This year, approach a Financial Planner.

Do your homework and start your year by opening up to new possibilities and work towards your financial fitness this year.

PersonalFN is of the view that it is imperative for you to plan and save for all your life goals through a well-designed financial plan. Moreover, the earlier you start, the more of a corpus you will be able to accumulate.

And we at PersonalFN, are committed to providing you unbiased and honest views and opinions on various personal finance issues that can impact your investments and finances. We have been providing personalized Financial Planning solutions to our clients in India as well as to NRIs so as to help them meet their financial goals and objectives.

Further, if you need superlative value assistance in financial planning, reach out to us on 022-61361200 or e-mail at info@personalfn.com .

We will be happy to help you ☺

Till then...

Happy Planning!


 


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