It is always good to stop and look back to see and evaluate our life to make the best out of it. The New Year offers us an opportunity to review our life and make plans for an ensuing year. Among the New Year resolutions, Financial resolutions are a most important resolution which determines the quality of our future life.
Once Benjamin Frankline said, “Be always at war with your vices and at peace with your neighbors, and let each year find you a better man”. We all have one or other vices and always there is a scope for improvement, especially in financial matters.
Every year millions of people make resolutions but it is observed that 80% of resolutions are failed by the second week of February. Hence it is essential to stick to our financial resolutions and ensure that the things move as per the planning.
Here are some new year financial resolutions:
1.PREPARING A BUDGET:
It is the first step towards financial planning. It enables you to know the source from where the money will come and where it will go. It enables you to plan your expenditure considering your income. Any surplus income over expenditure will leave extra money in your hand. Whereas expenditure exceeding income lead to more debt. The success of budgeting depends upon the balancing of both income and expenditure.
Savings are the backbone of financial planning. Savings only make available the funds for deployment as per the financial planning. It is suggested that we must save at least 20% of our income. To achieve this we will have to sacrifices some of our expenses. If you have a working spouse, make it a point to save the salary of one spouse in order to meet your financial goal.
3.BUILDING EMERGENCY FUND:
In life, all days are not similar. Sometimes we have to face rough financial weather also. All of a sudden we may face unemployment, Medical expenses or any other unexpected events having financial implications. To face such situation we must have something to fall back. It is therefore essential to build some corpus over a period of time to face such eventualities. It is suggested to built an emergency fund equal to six months expenses or at least three months.
You are the greatest asset to your family. You are the bread winner for them. It is therefore essential to ensure yourself with an adequate amount of insurance in accordance with your income. Life is not certain and in case of any mishappening, your family should not suffer.
Similarly obtaining medical insurance for yourself and family is also very much essential as nowadays medical treatment has become very costly. It will have a telling effect on your financial conditions.
All assets like House, Car etc are also to be got insured. As any mishappening will affect your financial condition adversely.
5.REVIEW OF INVESTMENTS:
You must keep an eye on your investments. All the investment made are to be reviewed periodically. It should be ensured that they are generating the returns as per your planning. If it is not meeting your expectation, you should not hesitate in churning the portfolio. However, you should not get carried away with short-term aberrations.
6.REVIEW OF LOANS AND ADVANCES:
A rate of Interest on Loans and Advances are subject to change frequently. ROI depends upon the RBI policies and MCLR of the banks. You must try to shed high interest bearing advances. You must avoid taking loans against Credit Cards as it attracts the interest of nearly 36% pa. Financial planning helps us in reducing interest cost.
Now the ROI on loans depends upon your credit score. If you have good credit score you can get loan comparatively at a lesser rate. Your credit score depends upon your repayment history. Please ensure to repay all your loan installments in time to maintain a healthy credit profile.
It is said that man is a social animal. We all live in a society and have a certain responsibility towards the same. In society, some people are less privileged. If we can touch somebody’s life and bring a change in their life, it will give us great satisfaction. Philanthropy is a powerful way to help people and change their life.
If you have already crossed the age 35, it is a right time to start planning for your retirement. It is long-range planning and you will be having the next 25 years available for the same. You may invest in a Retirement plan of Mutual Fund or you may subscribe to National Pension Scheme(NPS) of GOI. Subscription of Rs 50000 p.a in NPS is exempted from income tax.
9.WILL AND NOMINATION:
Will and Nomination are also an important aspect of Financial Planning. God Forbid, if anything happens to you, this will save your family from hassles of completing the document work for claiming the amount saved. There is a facility of Nomination in all Bank Deposits and Mutual Fund investments. We must do the nomination without fail for all our investments.
Similarly WILL is also an important instrument through which we can bequeath the properties and investment to the person of our choice. WILL is a legally valid document.
10.FILING OF IT RETURN:
Income Tax Return is the declaration of all our income earned during the year. If our income is beyond the exempted limit of income tax, presently Rs 250000/- we have to file the income tax return within the stipulated limit i.e. up to 31 July for individuals. We should ensure that income from all sources have been declared in the ITR. As a law abiding citizen of India, it is our moral and statutory duty to declare all our income and pay the tax honestly.
Financial Planning is an important exercise and we must undertake it regularly. Financial Resolution serves as a reminder for the same to make our future more secure financially.