We all are always very disciplined in future. For example: I will go to gym regularly from next week or next month or so on. We tend to procrastinate some important decisions that impact our life directly or indirectly. “Managing Finances is one such decision that we have been putting on back burner.”
Now is the time to revisit our finances, utilize them to the optimum and how we can actually make it work for us in such uncertain times. Sharing Personal Finance tips that can help sail through COVID’19:
1. Don’t Panic: The first and foremost tip is “ Don’t Panic” . Be financially thoughtful, one can only think when the mind is at peace and not worrying.
2. Do the basic right : One should go back to basics to our grandfather- grandmothers time and manage money the way they used to do it.
- They always saved for the rainy days / unprecedented times/ emergency fund. Followed a Money Jar system.
- Budgeting was the key. In the beginning of the month different packets were being made for kitchen expenses, kids’ fees, utilities , etc.
- They used to learn within the means and because of this , they were able to draw a line between needs and wants.
3. Prioritize expenses : Expenses should be prioritized between most important and least important as most of us- Salaried, professionals or self employed have apprehension about the cash flow for near future. Make a list of Fixed and variable expenses .
Fixed expenses are – Food, utilities, insurance, education expenses, health expenses.
Variable expenses are – Subscription costs , Clothes, entertainment, shopping, recreation.
Cutting on expenses can help get through the current financial situation less stressful. At the same time, fun in life is not to be compromised. Best is find a middle way. However, before that, one needs to prepare a budget to understand where and how are you investing.
4. Cash at home : Cash has always been the king in times of uncertainties like these. It will not harm to have cash at home to cover at least 3 – 6 months of household expenses .
5. Restructure your Financial life : Make of list of all the family insurance policies, investments done till now. This activity will help in 2 ways:
- Firstly, it will help in consolidating your Financial life at one place.
- Secondly, it will help in identifying Non performing assets, idle assets. One can get rid of the clutter and actually build a healthy investment and insurance portfolio which is in sync with goals.
By healthy investments , I mean making investments which are not chasing higher returns instead are in sync with your Financial goals. Also, some money which will get free by disposing off non performing investments from the above activity can be allocated towards future goals.
By healthy insurance portfolio, I mean checking the existing cover and making sure it is adequate as per your income and standard of living, if yes, take a deep breath. If not, time to build adequate insurance portfolio.
6. Revisit your liabilities: With the way the things have been shaping up is definitely going to hit the economy in a big way. The lenders may have some customized relief measures. You can check on current loans, credit card EMIs if any and check out with respective lenders if any sort of relief policy is in force. Do check pros and cons of these measures before taking the decision with regards to changing the liability repayment way.
7. Current investments : Making further investments is personal to everyone as it is Personal Finance. If we talk about today, It is based on certain factors – whether surplus is there, safety of job and same cash flow is intact. However, one should try and not stop the current investments as those are already linked to our future goals and should be interrupted only if one is not able to continue with same due to financial crunch. Emotions and panic in the equity markets specially should not be the reason to stop existing investments. Withdraw money only if you need it.
8. Write a Will : Times like theses make us realize – no one is ever too young to write a will. We have been procrastinating the decision to make a will to a later date always. Now is the time to write a Will , so that assets that we have built in our lifetime are distributed as per our will/ wish.
We can understand you may have many questions / apprehensions in such times. Everything which was in theory makes more sense today with regards to Personal Finance. Hence, We would like to help you with regards to any of the above points. Feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected] , 9899288605.
Stay Safe, Take Care.
About the author: Gurleen Kaur Tikku is a Financial Consultant and devotes her time to her company www.hareepatti.com. She has done her Bachelors in Finance and Investment Analysis(BFIA) from College of Business Studies(CBS, Delhi) and MBA from IMT, Ghaziabad.. She can be Contacted at [email protected]
Disclaimer: Images have been sourced from google.com