The start of a New Financial Year is a fitting occasion to take a step back and conduct a few checks to ensure we are right on track with our financial goals. This would not only help us to get an understanding of our current financial situation, but will also help us take any corrective action, if required.
1. Review your Financial Plan and Goals
Review your complete portfolio in line with your risk profile, investment time-frame and financial goals. Sit with your financial advisor and get an understanding as to how you are doing in terms of your financial goals. If your existing asset allocation is not consistent with your goals, revise your investment plan. Also, check if your financial goals need any modification and work towards achieving the same.
2. Analyse your Debt Situation
Keep a check on your financial outflow towards your Home Loan EMIs, car loans, credit card payments, etc. You must know how much debt you can comfortably take, without any stress on your cash flows. Taking on too much debt can have financially damaging effects in the long run.
3. Review your Insurance Policies
Are you adequately covered? Make sure you and your family are adequately covered. In case of an unforeseen event, your family should have enough income and capital to cover the family s ongoing expenses, liabilities (if any) and fund their major life goals. Keep reviewing your term cover on a yearly basis.
Additionally, you must ensure you and your family have an adequate health insurance cover. If not, make sure you top up your insurance cover. Moreover, apart from having a health insurance policy, you must set certain amount aside as a health corpus for your retirement since future medical expenses can be far higher than the amount you are insured for.
4. Create an Emergency Fund
It is essential that you set aside 4-6 months of your family s living expenses need to meet with any unexpected circumstances, instead of dipping into the corpus you have planned for your other essential financial goals.
An Emergency fund is must have for all of us and if you haven t created one already, now is a good time to start. For those who already have an emergency fund in place, make sure you review your fund in regular intervals and top it up in case of any shortfall.
5. Maintain a Savings Budget instead of an Expense Budget
One of the easiest ways to ensure you save and invest on a monthly basis is to have a savings budget instead of an expense one. Following this approach, you can some amount aside from your monthly income towards achieving your future financial goals and then spend the remaining amount.
Review and analyse the expenses made during the year which will help in effective financial planning for the next financial year. Try to curb unnecessary expenses. Ideally, set a savings target of 15-20% of your gross annual income to deploy it productively in investments.
6. Tax Saving Start Early!
Do not wait till the last minute to do your tax planning. Start saving for tax at regular intervals with the help of the right tax saving products. This will avoid any last minute adhoc investments in tax saving products and also help you build wealth in the long run which could fund a portion of your retirement corpus.
Financial success is something a lot of people strive to achieve. Despite the high percentage of people looking to achieve this status, very few actually manage to. However, it isn t impossible. One of the best ways to achieve it is to understand how to manage money efficiently and make it work in your favour and most importantly, correcting mistakes in time.
(By Amar Pandit, Founder, HappynessFactory.in)