Here’s a Financial Checklist for the teens, grown-ups & Veterans:
Different ages, different stages, different needs!
As you grow older, so you tend to develop likings towards things which you might have ignored a decade ago. You tend to experiment with things and try to make better choices; each one taking you to a higher level of satisfaction.
You meet new people with varied perspectives. With some, you forge stronger bonds and develop habits and interests to conform to group norms. You explore places and start owning possessions.
In this entire hullabaloo, you may or may not plan your finances. You may give preference to getting instant gratification by spending; rather than saving and deferring consumption.
You seldom have given a thought to making an investment strategy.
When your platter is loaded with short-term priorities, planning for long-term goals takes a backseat. Such kind of oblivious attitude may put you in financial troubles; which may compound in the long run.
It’s time you take charge of your finances.
Here’s a financial checklist which you can follow based on your age:
1. Learn to make a budget
Budgeting can be fun!
It’s all about maintaining a record of your expenses. This way, you get to know what’s necessary and what’s unnecessary expenditure. Eventually, you turn out to be an empowered adult who is aware of his needs. It gives you control over your finances.
2. Start Saving
Saving is one of the good habits that you need to cultivate in your teens. As soon as you get the pocket money, there’s a temptation to spend all of it. But think wisely, you can do a lot more than this.
You can learn to be financially independent. Frame a goal for yourself like buying a bicycle or books. Divert these savings to finance it.
3. Learn about investing
Investing is about growing your wealth by employing your money in profitable avenues. You may not be able to invest right now, but it’s rewarding to be curious. Take guidance from elders about the various avenues of investing.
Learn about the power of compounding.
Get to know about risk and what kind of investor you want to be.
4. Open a Saving Bank Account
Gone are the days when Piggy banks were the norm. Nowadays, you can hold a saving bank A/c in the same bank where mom/dad has an Account.
In this way, you will know about making a deposit, limiting your withdrawals, and maintaining the minimum balance. Additionally, you can learn about online banking and using ATMs.
5. Learn about debt
Debt is regarded as a means of last resort; when you run out of own funds. Learn about how debt works.
In this way, you will know implications of accumulated debt and credit score.
The Grown-ups (the 20 somethings)
1. Don’t treat credit cards like cash
It can be your biggest mistake; and one of the reasons behind your indebtedness. The seemingly meager looking rolled-over EMIs can accumulate vast enough to eat into your hard money.
Try to stay within your means as far as possible. When going for any loan, analyze whether it will lead to any asset creation or not.
2. Being Frugal
Believe it or not, frugality is virtuous. It involves mindful spending and less of wasteful expenditure. It doesn’t ask you to be a miser. Instead, you need to learn to take more out of every rupee spent.
Before getting into impulsive buying, you have to critically think how it impacts your overall finances.
3. Start Investing
After saving, this is the next step towards getting rich. If you consider bank FDs as an investment, then get a mental makeover. Think regarding inflation-beating, risk-adjusted avenues.
You may initiate SIPs in mutual funds as a beginning. Then step-up your SIPs as your income grows.
4. Get Insured
You need to get your risks covered; especially if you have dependents or are shouldering a loan. Don’t expect a return on investment from an insurance policy.
You may go for a term insurance to cover the risk of death. Additionally, you can go for a health insurance to cover the risk of falling sick.
5. Invest in yourself
The more you invest in yourself, the better you turn out as an individual. It is a crucial stage when you don’t have too many responsibilities; you can analyze what you want in life. In which direction you need your career to proceed.
You can focus on developing your skills. It will not only accentuate your likelihood of better job opportunities; but also improve your overall potential.
The Veterans (the 30 somethings)
1. Control your expenses
By the time you are in the 30s, you might have achieved lot many things; both in personal and professional life. You may suffer from lifestyle creep. You may end up owning a lot many expensive things than you can afford.
It may drain your savings and lead to financial instability. Eventually, you may lose focus from bigger and important goals like retirement planning.
It’s high time to control your expenses and take charge of your finances. Make a budget and follow it religiously.
2. Boost your credit score
Do you have a low credit score?
Have figured out how to deal with it?
If not, then it might put you in trouble. Nowadays, when you switch jobs, the employer may look into your credit score; and ascertain your reliability as an individual.
It will be desirous if you work towards boosting your credit score. Start with making regular EMI payments. Use your credit cards wisely. Review your annual credit report and seek an update on your score.
3. Clear off debt & don’t take fresh loans
If you are still shouldering a credit card debt in the late 30s, you need to redesign your financial behavior. The habit of spending more than your capacity is immature. It means that you didn’t learn your financial lessons correctly.
To uncomplicated the matter, you need to clear off all your debts. Refrain from taking fresh loans. Engage in wealth creation activities rather than money draining activities.
4. Start retirement planning
Have you thought of retirement planning lately!
If not yet, then start now. Ideally, one needs to start retirement planning as soon as one starts earning. However, the 30s is not too late to begin. You still have 30 good years to build a corpus to support your post-retired life.
You may explore wealth creation opportunities like mutual funds. Start SIPs in a large-cap equity fund to help you in wealth creation. Stay focused and retire rich!
5. Take help of professional financial advisor
In case you are still confused about the ongoing, fret not!
Visit a financial advisor. He/she would help you in framing the financial goals.
He/she may guide you through the whole process of financial planning. He would ensure that you attain financial empowerment in the manner you desire.