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Prudent money management is an essential skill for everyone, more so for improving the financial resilience and capability of working professionals as they embark on their careers. Yet, the lack of basic financial know-how can make young adults helpless when it comes to organising their personal finance. Whether it is setting aside funds for an emergency, staying out of debt or investing in suitable asset classes, a working professional can make better decisions and manage their lives better with the right information. Here’s a list of top tips to help you take charge of your financial future.
If you don’t educate yourself on ways to manage your own money, you will always be dependent on someone else for advice. The first step in this journey is to get rid of the misconception that finance is too hard. Start by learning more about investment vehicles, managing credit, insurance, tax savings and other things that impact you. The abundance of information online can help explain the jargons easily. Take the time to research other sources such as books on personal finance or financial bloggers, who can help lay it out in simpler terms.
Warren Buffet has famously said that he started investing at the age of 11 and regretted it being too late. The sooner you start investing, the more you benefit from the power of compounding growth. Build healthy financial habits such as save first and spend later, increasing your investments as you progress financially, and diversifying your investment portfolio. Since young professionals have fewer financial overheads and dependencies, it is easier to take out a chunk of their income for investments.
“Pay yourself first” is a great mantra to follow for personal finance. This means to stock away a small amount of money in an emergency fund each month. Ideally, an emergency fund should have a minimum of three to six months' worth of your salary. Be fastidious about this rule even if you have a mountain of student debt or if your pay is still low. Not only does this keep you out of trouble financially, but it also helps you to build a life-long habit of saving. Often creating separate buckets for retirement, vacation or down payment amount for a home can help you stay motivated and contribute consistently. You could also put your savings into high-interest savings accounts such as the one offered by IDFC FIRST Bank.
By taking charge of your personal finance, investing early, saving for emergencies, staying organised and investing in health insurance, you can be leaps ahead in your financial management journey.
Get into the habit of tracking expenses to help you budget and forecast better. Stay organised by using budgeting or money management apps that help you keep an eye on your income and expenses. Many professionals find it useful to create a financial calendar and set reminders for important tasks such as taxes, credit card payments, EMIs and other fixed expenses. It is also easy to automate bill payments to avoid late fee charges. Keep reviewing your budget frequently and revise it as required.
If health is wealth, then it makes sense to safeguard your health first. Not just by enrolling for a gym membership but also by choosing a robust health insurance plan for yourself and family members to secure your medical needs in the future. Emergency medical bills can cause severe financial setbacks and anxiety. To save yourself the stress of diving into your fixed deposits or selling assets to cover such expenses, it is advised to look into an insurance plan early on. After all, it's not just about financial stability but also about ensuring your peace of mind.
While financial education is not a part of the high school syllabus, it is one of the most valuable skills to have in your professional life. By taking charge of your personal finance, investing early, saving for emergencies, staying organised and investing in health insurance, you can be leaps ahead in your financial management journey.
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