Everyone has their own financial goals as it should be. Some of you may be saving for a new car or an upgrade, some may be waiting to collect enough for the down payment to purchase their dream house, for some it may be to purchase a piece of swanky Mumbai commercial real estate or may be to build a nest egg and then start investing for future needs. Putting away money for a rainy day is one of the first lessons we start learning when we begin earning. We all want to reach the stage where we are financially independent and in a position to build our wealth so that it works for us in the best way possible.
Let us take a look at a few steps that can help you on the path to saving –
- Assess what your goals are – Firstly you will need to figure out what you really want to do with your money. Do you want to save? Do you want to invest? And then decide in what proportion. Many people at first mix the two terms or often use them interchangeably. When we talk about saving, it is in simple terms the act of putting down and putting away your cash and in a safe place. This may be in the form of a savings account in the bank to securities like certificate of deposits. The money should be easily accessible, liquid and easy to get to when you need it. Usually a very low risk activity. When we invest we are using our cash to buy certain assets like property, stocks, mutual funds, gold etc. with an aim that these will generate returns over time and earn us money periodically. You will have to first figure out which financial goal is the one that will work for you.
- Calculate how much you want to save – So now you know you want to begin a savings program for yourself. There is no set amount for cash that you should be saving every month or every pay cheque and could differ from other people you know like your friends, family and peers. Financial goals differ as do the incomes and your capability to put away money or cut corners with the aim to save. One method people use is to save enough to cover basic and fixed expenditures like your rent, insurance, mortgage payment, food and utility bills and the like for a period of 3 to 6 months. Your goal may be more specific however say you want to save a certain amount of cash every month (after meeting your basic expenses) to put away for a holiday abroad for example. How much you are willing to save will depend on what changes you are ok with in your current lifestyle and costs as well as how risky a mode you are taking to save the cash. Always make sure you take care of all unavoidable expenses first.
- Figure out the best way to do it for you – Once you ascertain what your savings goals are the next time is to do a little research and see what kind of method will work for you. Saving money is not a one size fits all kind of activity. This again depends on what your goal is. Whether you want to open a savings account in a bank and earn some interest on your money or whether you rather stash it away in your safe at home and have it totally accessible, do what works best for the end goal. Now is also the time you need to figure out how you will save that wealth. You can have a fixed amount cut from your pay every month and transferred to another account, cut corners on unnecessary expenditures like shopping and eating out, make lists so you only buy things you need etc. Experts also suggest that giving yourself an incentive when you meet your goal will keep you motivated!
Even as you figure out where you are headed, there’s no time like the present. Start putting away money whenever possible and pave the way to a life of better financial habits.
Rachna Singh is a life coach and has her own set-up. She often helps people manage how they want to change their lives where finances are considered and herself aims to purchase an office in the expensive Mumbai commercial real estate market. In her free time she loves practising yoga and going on short holidays with her husband. Also she writes for http://parinee.com/