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Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Important Money Management Skills

Money. That which makes the world go round. It all boils down to the money that we have at the end of the day. Money determines the way we live, what we do, and basically every other decision of our lives. Without money, we are basically nothing. And that, I know, is something that no one will want to go through. So it becomes imperative that we earn well. But earning well is not the end all of everything. It actually begins from there. Money which is earned, needs to be managed well, so that we continue to benefit from it for a long time. And therein comes the part where we need to learn some basic money management skills. Because without these, we will not be able to develop effective methods of money management.

Most of us do not have the knowledge of what some of the most simple and effective money management skills are. So to help you out, this article shall provide you with just that.

Money management skills are not difficult to learn once you get the hang of how to go about it. Given below is a step by step plan that you can follow in order to nurture some of these skills.

Take Stock
The first thing you need to do is calculate how much you are earning. Add in all the resources. Once you have this figure, calculate how much money you need to spend every month. To learn how much you spend every month, the best method is to write down each and everything that you spend for a couple of days. The amount will most generally exceed the amount that you had in mind―that’s because we don’t realize how much we end up spending on small things. Keep in mind that you need this spending figure to learn the basic skills. It is also important to note that the figures of two months will never be the same, there will be more expenditures incurred in a particular month and not so many in the next. But an average figure can be definitely arrived at.

Allot Amounts
Now that you know an average amount of the money that you need to spend for a month, it’ll be easier to allot amounts to different things. Make a list of all the things that you need to spend on―rent, tuition, bills (newspaper, Internet etc.) groceries, emergency (very important), and miscellaneous. You can make a long term-short term list as well. Like monthly/weekly/daily, and segregate the items accordingly. Now calculate the amount that you need for each and allot the money accordingly.

Many people use the envelope method for household items and it seems to work for them. For this, use different envelopes and mark them―for example ‘vegetables’, ‘toiletries’, ‘groceries’ etc, and at the beginning of the month fill the envelop with the amount that you need. Stick to that amount no matter what. When you put it down on paper like that, you are constantly reminded of it and the tendency to overspend is curbed.

Take Care of Debts
Never ever keep a debt. Pay a debt off as soon as you can, because if you keep on piling it, it’ll just keep getting bigger and bigger and cut into your regular saving plan. Find out how much you owe and what you need to pay off―that is the first step in managing your debt. Credit cards, surplus bills―everything needs to be paid off. Make a plan for the same. How? Along with the other envelopes, make another one for the debts so that you have a clear segregation made. It might be difficult in the beginning, but once you start physically putting in the money, you’ll deal with the problem head on and with continued efforts, the amount will be paid off.

Plan the Future
Now that the preliminary stage is taken care of, you’ll need to save for the future. The most important thing to do here is draw up a goal. What do you want to save for? Retirement? Children’s education? A house? Car? Or even small plans like a music system, a new phone etc. Calculate the amount you’ll need to save for it. This is your first step. The next steps will be how to get that money in a stipulated period of time.

Budget
Having a budget is really important. One way of budgeting is the envelope way, so that you don’t end up spending more when you have already allotted a fixed amount to yourself. The second method of making a budget, and this is somewhat of a conscious change in attitude, is that you get it in your head to budget things. Consciously decide that you want to budget. Do not spend recklessly. Other than that, planning for the future and drawing up plans of the things you need to save for will help you to budget well. This is because you’ll know what and how much you need to save up on to get that amount.

Invest
After paying all the bills, the surplus amount that lasts needs to be invested well. There is nothing worse than stagnant money. So consult a financial adviser or an investment adviser who will calculate how much you can afford to save per month, after deducting the expenditure and surplus. After this he will draw up a scheme that suits you best. It could be anything from a fixed deposit account to investing in mutual funds or buying property as assets.

Easy Saving Tips

Along with budgeting and drawing up plans, you can also consciously decide to save. Here are some money saving tips that you can use:

  • Buy things in wholesale.
  • Instead of buying books, join a library or start a club. Use this same formula for different things.
  • Car pool to work, that will save on money for gas AND is good for the environment.
  • Buy things on sale.
  • Go through your daily expenditure sheet, you will find that there are several things in there that you can easily give up. Like a very expensive brand of hair product.
  • Turn off the power when you don’t need it.

Earn Extra
It has been found that we never tap the full potential when it comes to expending our talents or finding other means of earning some extra money. This is one of the more indirect money management skills that we need to learn. Here are some of the easiest ways to make money―taking on freelancing jobs, giving tuition, making use of your hobbies and talents like singing or dancing (giving classes, singing in a club) or cooking (providing snacks for a establishment or making a fixed amount for a bakery). Other methods include, selling things for scrap, holding garage sales etc.

Becoming a Financial Planner

It is not necessary to have a bachelor’s degree to get into this profession. However, it definitely adds points to the work profile and earning potential. It would be beneficial to complete your graduation in the field of finance, economics, mathematics, statistics, business, or law. Studying these subjects would help in understanding issues and intricacies of financial management. Graduating as a Chartered Financial Analyst or a Chartered Financial Consultant would also help. You can also enroll into courses related to estate planning, investments, risk management, and taxes.

To practice as a professional financial adviser, you need to have certification. Those who aspire to be certified, should have a graduate degree, and most importantly, at least three years of experience in the field. The three years of working is when you would receive the actual training for your career. You would be dealing with the practical aspects of the theories you have studied. During this time you would learn how to how to deal with customers. Your main job would be to guide them in planning their finances according to their individual needs. This would also help you in building business relationships with the clients.

Once you complete the experience requirement, you would have to give an exam, that tests your skills. You would also have to undergo an ethical practice and background check. After you are certified, you can either work for an investment company or financial management company, or choose to set up your own business.

The salary varies greatly. Initially, when you start your career, you would enjoy a fixed salary, though it would not be a very huge amount. However, once you become a certified financial planner, your income would depend on commissions, or direct payment for the service you have provided to the client.

Careers in finance have become one of the most sought-after ones in the recent years. Along with educational qualifications and experience, you also need excellent communication skills for this job.

The Importance of Financial Planning

It is important to plan finances in order to reap long term benefits through the assets in hand. The investments that one makes are structured properly, and managed by professionals through financial planning. Every decision regarding our finances can be monitored if a proper plan is devised in advance. The following points explain why financial planning is important.

  1. Cash Flow: Financial planning helps in increasing cash flow as well as monitoring the spending pattern. The cash flow is increased by undertaking measures such as tax planning, prudent spending, and careful budgeting.
  2. Capital: A strong capital base can be built with the help of efficient financial planning. Thus, one can think about investments, and thereby improve his financial position.
  3. Income: It is possible to manage income effectively through planning. Managing income helps in segregating it into tax payments, other monthly expenditures, and savings.
  4. Family Security: Financial planning is necessary from the point of view of family security. The various policies available in the market serve the purpose of financially securing the family.
  5. Investment: A proper financial plan that considers the income and expenditure of a person, helps in choosing the right investment policy. It enables the person to reach the set goals.
  6. Standard of Living: The savings created by through planning, come to the rescue in difficult times. Death of the bread winner in a family affects the standard of living to a great extent. A proper financial plan acts as a guard in such situations, and enables the family to survive hard times.
  7. Financial Understanding: The financial planning process helps gain an understanding about the current financial position. Adjustments in an investment plan or evaluating a retirement scheme becomes easy for an individual with financial understanding.
  8. Assets: A nice ‘cushion’ in the form of assets is what many of us desire for. But many assets come with liabilities attached. Thus, it becomes important to determine the true value of an asset. The knowledge of settling or canceling the liabilities comes with the understanding of our finances. The overall process helps us build assets that don’t become a burden in the future.
  9. Savings: It is good to have investments with high liquidity. These investments, owing to their liquidity, can be utilized in times of emergency and for educational purposes.

Financial Planning for the Future

Well, there are many things one needs to consider while planning for the future in terms of finances. Given below are some of the factors you need to look into:

Current Economic Status: You must analyze your current economic status including your annual income. It will give you a direction towards financial planning for the future.

Expenses: You must also consider the expenses you make on a yearly basis. It is suggested to make a list of your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and determine how you decide your priorities and make expenditures accordingly.

Asset Analysis: Yes, this is one of the important aspects of financial planning. You must know and ascertain the number, or quality, of your assets before you start financial planning.

Liabilities: Liabilities are as good as expenses. So, you must pay attention regarding how you would deal with liabilities, and how you would manage and sustain them.

These were some of the crucial factors one has to consider when it comes to financial planning for the future. Now let’s take a look at some of the ways and ideas that can help you plan well for the future.

Financial Planning Ideas

Given below are some tips cum ideas that would answer how to plan financially for the future, take a look:

  • Saving is one of the most important steps to ensure a prosperous future, especially when you carry out financial planning for the future. The early you start saving the more time you give to your money to grow. It is never too late, so start saving as early as possible.
  • Once the significant savings are there in your account, there are many things you can do to invest these savings wisely. You can either buy gold, or invest money in assets that guarantee continuous income in the future as well. You can also think of investing money in stocks and bonds too, for long term benefits.
  • Learning to plan a budget for daily day-to-day expenses is a key to financial planning for the future. You must try to balance between the income and expenses every month so that you save a certain amount.
  • Along with a budget, one has to plan one’s lifestyle as it can have a major impact on your financial planning. You must learn to alter your lifestyle according to a stipulated amount every month and save the rest of the extra money for unexpected financial expenses in the future.
  • Insuring important assets is also an important aspect of financial planning. Health insurance and car insurance are some of the must have insurances for greater security in the future.
  • Another interesting way of investing in future is working after retirement. Yes, you can think of starting your own small business after retirement that guarantees income even after retirement. It can help you earn not only money but it would also help you kill the boredom and time, which many retirees are faced with.