I always feel that Financial Planning is not only a Goal Focused but a Habit Building Exercise. Though results are not in anyone’s hand, one can just design the process with all the wisdom and knowledge, and follow it with the discipline to achieve the goals
and when there is a process and discipline then compounding automatically happens and you get what you seek for.
Ultimately you will reach where you want to go, it’s just that rather than focusing on Results you need to improve on habits.
With this thought in mind, when #21dayslockdown was announced Nationwide, I decided to run a campaign on social media where I shared 21 good money habits, one per day for 21 days, in the form of a short 1-2 minute multiple videos. All this, referring to the thoughts I had shared in my book -- The Art of being Good with Money
As they say, it takes 21 days to build a habit, so with these #21goodmoneylessons I want my readers to have an understanding of some important aspects which they may follow and give themselves a great financial life.
1. Practice Pause
The Purpose of Pause is to give the proper attention to the person, the situation in front of you. When its a Question of your Financial Life, it deserves fewer distractions and complete focus from you so you can really think of what is more important to you and what is to be done to make it RICH Life.
2. Follow Minimalism
Less is always better. When you eat less, you will feel more healthy. When you spend less, you will invest more. When you do less, you will have more focus on whatever in your hand. When you have less, that is more manageable. Fewer Complications, More Relaxation.
3. Talk to Professionals
When you say Professionals, they are not only Subject Experts and experienced but also are more trustworthy, Regulated, Reliable.
They don’t like advising on Social media as they are Regulated, and have to follow some compliance rules. They don’t advice for FREE, as good advice needs to be compensated well, They are Reliable as they are transparent and don’t like Predicting, They believe in a process-oriented approach and do not provide a quick fix solution.
It’s not easy to find one, but it’s not that difficult too. Once you understand their importance, you will find one for yourself.
4. Don’t Copy Other Investors
You may feel that the question asked on TV Channel or Newspaper case study, is exactly yours but actually it’s not. The question wordings may be the same, but feelings would definitely be different.
You are different from your friends, neighbors, peers…and even from your family members. Know yourself first, then you will find how different you are from others.
5. Learn to Say “NO”
Know your Priorities well, and understand that you cannot do it all. It is imperative for you to know that when you say YES to one thing, you say No to the other.
When you know what is distracting you from your path, then why is it difficult to say NO to them?
6. Be Aware of Your Expenses
Knowing your expenses is half the job done. Cash flow is the bloodline of any financial process. If this is not in order your complete financial life can be in the doldrums.
It is your expenses that leads you to the calculation of your retirement goal. Your Insurance Requirements come out from your expenses. Besides your lifestyle, it also shows what are your necessities.
Be in touch with your money.
7. Invest Right- Invest for Goals
When you know where you have to go, you will find out which way would suit you, which mode of transport can be used and what time it will take to reach there.
Looking from another angle, Investing with a goal in mind lets you decide the type of product you should invest in, by knowing the risk and return profile of the same and the time you have to reach the goal.
8. Success is in Wellness
Unless you are doing well in your personal life, i.e. are living a healthy life, having happy relationships, are in peace with less stress, then you will find the same energy in your work and money life too.
But when you keep looking for success in only monetary terms and ignore the other important relations in your life, then you are compromising with your wellness and will never be able to enjoy the success in your money life.
9. Gratitude Attracts More Money
If you are not thankful for what you have, you will not be able to attract what you want. You should be thankful for the life you have, the house you live in. You should be thankful to the happy and healthy family, the work you do, the Income you earn.
When you make your life, your belongings, your money, feel low by not valuing it and always wanting more, why would they like to grow with you?
10. A Good Financial Plan is your Best Friend
A good financial plan knows you in and out. You share your aspirations, your fears with it. It gets prepared by taking into account your risk attitude and Strengths your Weaknesses.
It guides you on increasing your exposure to Equity in case of long term goals and stops you in case you want to take the risk for the short term.
Stay friends with it and keep it updated.
11. Be Wise with your Credit Cards
Anything which comes easy must have hidden risks in it. Be it a success or Money? Credit cards provide you easy money which takes you away from the real cash flow situation.
Misuse or abuse of this facility may bring further challenges to your financial life. Use it wisely for your advantage only.
12. Asset Allocation: the Balanced Diet to your Portfolio
Your money should be invested in different Asset Classes -- Equity, Debt, Gold and Real Estate. It should not be overly allocated in a single asset so to expose you to concentration Risk.
You have to take into consideration your risk profile and goals targeted to decide on the proper asset allocation.
13. Stay Wealthy: Eat a Rainbow
Your balanced diet should have all or most of the colors in it so to get the required nutrition too.
In the Investment Asset classes, you will find multiple products with different names but having the same structure or underlying asset class. Investing in such products will only increase complexity.
You should have uncorrelated and diverse products in the portfolio. and It’s wise to have them in fewer numbers so to manage them well.
14. Tax Saving: The Financial Planning Way
Every financial action should take you a step forward towards your goal. Don’t look at your tax planning a separate activity. Anything you do here will impact your financial Plan…so better to take advantage and do your tax-saving wisely to support your financial life well
15. It’s a Family thing: Involve them in the decisions
Your spouse must be taking good care of the budget, Your financial dependents should know what have you done for them. They should be consulted or informed well when any important decision is going to be taken for the family’s future.
When everyone is involved while deciding where to go and what to do on a family vacation, then why not while planning for the life’s journey?
16. Invest in “Self”
More then Money, you need your Growth. Your development will increase the Present value of yours which is going to give compounded benefit in the future. and also lets Money to Grow. So your focus should be on YOU first.
You should work on your strengths to be more strong.
17. Planning Beyond YOU
Financial planning is not limited to making Investments. You should have to make a good arrangement for whom you are doing all this for, so they could be able to take benefit in a proper manner. Here Estate Planning Comes into the scene, which involves -- Not only Accumulation but Preservation and Distribution of the wealth too.
Uncomplicate their life by designing your Financial plan beyond you
18. Stop, Don’t Do it This Way
This is very important among all Good Money habits. Your Financial Life has many interlinkages. Action on one impacts the other areas too. You have to look at your money life holistically to get the best out of your efforts. Financial Planning does not work in Bits and Pieces.
19. Unburden Yourself from Debt
Loans in any form are not good for personal finances. It is worse when taken for consumption. When you convert your purchases into EMIs when you take Personal Loan to fund your wants, all this shows that your wants are exceeding your needs. The happiness that you get from the things you buy is always short-lived but the pain of repayment is long term.
Learn the difference between Good Loans and Bad Loans, and Try to unburden yourself from debt.
20. Protect and Let Your Investments Grow
To keep your investments safe from Market vagaries, from your unforeseen circumstances, from your money mismanagement and more importantly from YOU, it is important to build a strong foundation and answer all the ‘what ifs’ you have in your mind. Then only your long term investments remain intact and keep growing.
21. Change is the only Constant: Keep Reviewing
Things Never Remain the Same. So many factors influence your life and Investments. Some are Internal and many are External.
It is important for you to understand that change is the only constant, and you should keep reviewing the situation and your financial plan so as to take the necessary action as and when required. The Frequency of the Review should be fixed and not irregular unless some major event happens.
These 21 Good Money Habits are very important if you really are serious about building and enjoying your Money Life. Initially, you may find some difficulty adding them in your routine, but once you are habitual to these, they will become your second nature, and bring goodness in your life.
If you like the videos, then please do subscribe to the Youtube channel and share the videos and this article with your friends and Family. Let’s Spread the Goodness together.