October 6 is the World Financial Planning day. This is an initiative of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The securities regulators across six continents will promote investor education and protection all through this week.
What does this mean to you? Use this occasion to get a grip on your personal finances. Here is a simple 10-step process for you to follow. They’re very simple, but go a long way in wealth creation.
Start reading up on personal finance topics
Don’t know much about managing your money? Start reading. There is lots to learn about saving and budgeting, interest and debt, investments and retirement, insurance and protection. There are enough scamsters out there, wanting to make a quick buck off your hard-earned savings. Reading will make you aware and alert.
Decide what to do with your money
Make a list of your goals. There must be reasons for which you want to save and invest, beyond just wanting to earn “high returns.” Once, you write your goals, make a timeline for achieving them.
Consolidate your bank accounts
Have fewer bank accounts. A bank account is also a perfect place to start building or expanding your emergency fund. While you’re at it, commit to saving a specific amount or percentage of your income each month.
Pay debts on time
If you carry a balance on your credit cards, use the World Financial Planning Day to start repaying the amount, as they carry highest interest charges. Spend, but look for ways to lower your monthly bills. Always try to reflect on whether your spending is directed at needs or wants. Make a budget.
Know your net worth
List your assets (what you own), estimate what each is worth and add up. Next, list your liabilities (what you owe) and add up the outstanding balances. Subtract your liabilities from your assets to determine your net worth.
Organize your investments and documents
Would your loved ones know how to run your household or understand your last wishes if you became sick or injured, or die suddenly? Make an inventory of what you have and owe: investments, gold, jewelry and loans outstanding.
Automate your savings and investments
One of the least painful ways to save and invest is to automate the investment amounts. We have the e-NACH from NPCI to easily implement this. That is why systematic investment plans work best.
Contribute to a provident fund or pension plan
If you don’t have access to a government or company pension, consider setting up your own retirement account. The National Pension Scheme is a great vehicle to plan for your retirement, by investing regularly. Your retirement may many years away, but start planning early for the corpus and don’t touch it till you retire.
Purchase an insurance policy to protect your assets in the event of an unplanned occurrence or death. Types of insurance coverage include life, medical and health, travel, loan credit shields and auto, to list a few.
Make or update your will
If you have a will already, use the World Financial Planning Day to review and update it as needed. If you are yet to make one, use the day to schedule an appointment with an appropriate estate planning professional or an attorney to write one. Do remember, writing a will is not all legal work!