#Personal finance is a very wide subject. Here I just want to simplify the basics, why we need to take care of our money, why the inflow and outflow of funds need to me managed.
Every person has their own perspective about life, income and expenses. However, we can start with the 5 constants of personal finance apart from the regular aspirations of education for your children, marriage and buying a home.
1. You are going to grow old
2. Prices will go up
3. Value of money will decrease
4. Financial markets will remain volatile
5. There will be unplanned emergencies
Now, what do we do? Start stacking up cash/ gold? Putting in Fixed Deposit? Buy stocks? Mutual funds? Insurance? What?
We need to simply the relation between the goals and financial needs. We need to come in terms with the purpose of the investment so that we allocate funds and plan in a right manner.
How to go about it?
Start as soon as you feel it is important; don’t wait for emergencies to teach you harsh lessons.
Chalk out your financial goals based on the event and the expected timeline. For eg
Own marriage/ buying property/ vacations/ children’s education and marrage/ second home/ retirement planning etc.
Keep in mind
1. Keep goals clear
2. Time in hand
3. Risk taking ability
4. Avoid mixing asset classes
Based on your age, current financial situation, priority and timeline you can plan your finance.
First, prepare an Emergency fund, ideally the most liquid investment like savings account/ Fixed deposit/liquid fund.
Your financial liabilities and dependants should determine the life insurance cover. Chose term plan, stay away from endowment and ulips. See Post to know more.
Health insurance is also a significant part of financial planning. A medical emergency can erode a significant portion of your wealth if not planned for emergencies.
Few goals which are 5 – 10 years away and more, a significant kitty can be built with a monthly investing a small amount into equity mutual fund. See post on wealth creation
Younger the age, risk taking capacity is more. Equity based mutual fund investment can yield maximum return in long term. Thumb rule of equity investment is (100-age)% of total savings can be kept in equity. With increasing age/ nearing the goal gradually shift the investment into debts or fixed instruments like Fixed deposits.
Retirement planning is one more aspect one need to start early. As, the value of money decreases with passing time, maintaining the same lifestyle as today will cost you much higher 20 years later. Hence, investing for retire is important. See post
In other posts will go into details