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Financial planning for Beginners - Top 10 Golden rules

Maintain a personal balance sheet

It’s a statement wherein you can jot down your assets and liabilities.

  • Pull together your bank statements and other proofs of the liabilities
  • List down your assets like the bank balance, all investments, home value, and value of other assets.
  • Take a sum of all the assets to arrive at the total value of your assets.
  • List down your liabilities the (car loan, home loan, credit card balances etc.)
  • The sum of all the liabilities will show the value of the money you owe.
  • When you subtract the value of liabilities from assets, you get your Net Worth.

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Financial planning for Beginners - Top 10 Golden rules

Financial planning for Beginners - Top 10 Golden rules

https://cleartax.in/s/beginners-financial-planning

cleartax.in

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Key Ideas

Financial planning

 ...is the process which provides you a framework for achieving your life goals in a systematic and planned way by avoiding shocks and surprises.

Try making a budget

  • Create a full inventory of expenses in front of you: Categorize them into fixed and variable; urgent and non-urgent; necessities and luxury; avoidable and unavoidable.
  • You can create a hierarchy of needs and decide which one’s to address first. It’s all about prioritizing. 
  • Accept that you have limited resources and unlimited wants. But you have to manage your resources. The sooner you accept this fact, the better you can control your impulses towards avoidable expenditures.

Maintain a personal balance sheet

It’s a statement wherein you can jot down your assets and liabilities.

  • Pull together your bank statements and other proofs of the liabilities
  • List down your assets like the bank balance, all investments, home value, and value of other assets.
  • Take a sum of all the assets to arrive at the total value of your assets.
  • List down your liabilities the (car loan, home loan, credit card balances etc.)
  • The sum of all the liabilities will show the value of the money you owe.
  • When you subtract the value of liabilities from assets, you get your Net Worth.

Planning for Retirement

What you don’t know is that the earlier you start, the richer you retire. It happens due to the “magic of compounding”.

While planning for retirement, you need to clarify a few points like deciding an age at which you want to retire. Along with that estimate how much money you will need every month to meet your post-retirement expenses.

Manage your Debt wisely

In case you have a lot of debt to shoulder, start paying off the most expensive one. 

The credit card has been regarded as the most expensive form of debt. As soon as your salary gets credited each month, pay off your credit card balances in full. Don’t fall for the lure of paying off the minimum balance. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Investing defined

Investing is about laying out cash or assets now, in the hope of more cash or assets returning to you tomorrow, or next year, or next decade.

Most of the time, this is best achieved th...

Productive assets explained
  • Productive assets are investments that internally throw off surplus money from some sort of activity. 
  • Each type of productive asset has its own pros and cons, unique quirks, legal traditions, tax rules, and other relevant details.
  • The three most common kinds of investments from productive assets are stocks, bonds, and real estate.
Investing in Stocks
  • It means investing in common stock, which is another way to describe business ownership or business equity.
  • When you own equity (the value of the shares issued by a company) in a business, you are entitled to a share of the profit or losses generated by that company's operating activity.
  • Equities are the most rewarding asset class for investors seeking to build wealth over time without using large amounts of leverage.

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Smart retirement planning boils down to a few simple truths.
  • Time is on your side.  The earlier you start saving money, the more time you give compounding to work for you. 
  • Take risks when you're young.  Althoug...
Net Worth = Assets - Liabilities

Your net worth gives an overview of your financial situation at this point. It is the difference between what you own and what you owe.

Your net worth is positive if your assets exceed...

Calculating your assets and liabilities

Assets are anything of value that you own that can be converted into cash. Examples include:

  • Investments
  • Bank and brokerage accounts
  • Retirement funds
  • Real estate
  • Personal property: vehicles, jewellery and collectables.
  • Cash

Your liabilities represent your debts, such as loans, mortgages, credit card debt, medical bills and student loans.

Find your ideal

Determine your target net worth - where you want to be in the near-term and long-term future.

The following formula is helpful:

Target Net Worth=[Your Age−25]∗[1/5∗Gross Annual Income]

A 50-year-old with a gross annual income of $75,000 might aim for a net worth of $375,000 ([50 - 25 = 25] x [$75,000 ÷ 5 = $15,000])
Your net worth can be much more or much less than the amount indicated by the guideline.

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Saving on Transport

Cycle or walk to work to save money and get fitter. If you’re on the lazy side, invest in an electric bike to help you up those hills in the morning.

Also, if you normally drive to wor...

Saving On Electricity

Turn your lights off when leaving the room. If you live with forgetful people, place little stickers by the switch to give people helpful reminders.

You can also replace bulbs with energy-saving ones.

Saving On Self-Care

Simplify your beauty regime and ditch expensive creams. All your skin needs is a good diet, plenty of water and hydration.

Also, brush your teeth twice a day and don’t forget to floss. Having teeth issues leads to expensive dental bills.

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3 Financial Basics
  1. Create a Financial Calendar: prevent yourself from forgetting quarterly tax payments and to get credit reports.
  2. Check Your Interest Rate: Pay off loans, open saving accou...
Budgeting Like a Pro
  • Consider an All-Cash Diet, as limiting yourself to physical currency combats overspending.
  • Set aside 1 minute a day to check on your financial transactions, to identify problems, track goal progress and set your spending tone.
  • Allocate at least 20% of your income to financial priorities like emergency funds, debts and retirement fund.
  • Budget about 30% of your income for nonbasic spendings, like entertainment. Abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.
How to Get Money Motivated
  • Draft a Financial Vision Board, it motivates and helps you to stay on track with your financial goals.
  • Set specific financial goals stating the reason, the way, numbers and dates.
  • Adopt a spending mantra, a phrase that serves as a rule of thumb for how you spend.
  • Love yourself. Taking control of your finances is part of that.
  • Make bite-size money goals. Make the bigger ones but also small step goals to get there.
  • Don’t be a financial fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
  • Get your finances and body in shape. The discipline associated with regular exercising translates to managing your money well.
  • Appreciate what you have now, instead of being a consumerist.
  • Get a Money Buddy. Studies indicate people pick up good habits from friends with similar traits.

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Salary is not the same as savings
Having a high salary does not automatically make you rich; having a low salary does not automatically make you poor.

Your net worth is more important than how much money you make. It’s amazin...

Saving is more important than investing

Pay yourself first is such simple advice, but so few people do this. 

The best investment decision you can make is setting a high savings rate because it gives you a huge margin of safety in life.

Live below your means...
....not within your means. 

The only way to get ahead financially is to stay behind your own earnings power.

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6 ideal investments for beginners
6 ideal investments for beginners
  1. If you have a 401(k) or another retirement plan at work, it’s very likely the first place you should put your money— especially if your company matches a portion of your contributions.
How much you should save every month
How much you should save every month

The popular 50/30/20 rule states that you should reserve 50 percent of your budget for essentials like rent and food, 30 percent for discretionary spending, and 20 percent for savings.

But ...

Why 20 percent is recommended

Assuming you're in your 20s or 30s and can earn an average investment return of five percent a year, you'll need to save about 20 percent of your income so you can reach financial independence when you're older.

Financial independence means that you can maintain your chosen lifestyle entirely from the interest of your investments and dividends.

The four percent rule

The four percent rule states that you could withdraw four percent of your principal balance every year and live on this indefinitely. That means you need to save 25 times your annual expenses to become financially independent.

The four percent rule is not perfect. There is no risk-free investment that yields that much today. Sudden inflation could also cause a problem.

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Start a financial independence journey
Start a financial independence journey

One of the most challenging aspects to change your finances is getting started.

  • You may have an idea.
  • You may want to read more.
Set alerts to work on your finances

From the day you start saving, put a reminder on your calendar once a week to work for one hour on your finances in some way. It could include reading, balancing the accounts, optimizing cash flow, researching funds, etc.

There is no right number of times to check on your account. If you feel the urge to make decisions based on the news or market changes, limit how many times you look at your accounts. With experience, you will gain more control.

Dealing with demoralization when saving money

Once you understand where your money is going and what is left for savings, you may feel demoralised. Even though the amount is small in the first few months, you may be surprised by how much your balance grows in six months or a year.

The power of compound interest is what helps accounts grow exponentially and reach your savings goals quicker.

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