Finance can be an intimidating affair and our education does not prepare us for it. Nor do most Indian households prepare the youngsters for it. It is more of an adult conversation. With young India entering the workforce early, personal finance becomes an important topic. Enough of ranting, let us get to some quick tips:
It is so helpful to decide your finances in advance. The 50/20/30 (or sometimes called 50/30/20) budget rule works great. It is a simple and instinctive approach. The rule states that you should spend up to 50% of your after-tax income on your needs or daily expenses that are a must. Like grocery expenses or a gift for your friend’s birthday and more. Then 30% on your wants. Mostly entertainment related. The last 20% is for saving and investments.
Know where it all goes
Does this happen with you that you don’t have any idea where you spent that last penny from your allowance? Knowing where you spend will be good for your pockets. There are various apps available for you to do it. They save time and they usually remind you to update your daily expenses in the app at a given time. Some of the apps that you can try are Money manager, Mint, LearnVest, and more.
Have an emergency fund
If you don’t have it yet, this is your cue. Start an emergency fund now! No matter what expenses you have, you should have this. This money is not for investment or to buy up anything. Ideally, this money should not be used for anything except when this is the last resort. This is a non-negotiable point. Sorry, we don’t make the rules. Have a savings account or make a deposit for it. It will help you to be more consistent.
Understand your taxes
It goes without saying but taxes are crucial as soon as you start earning. You need to know how to calculate whether that salary will give you enough money after taxes to meet your financial goals and obligations. You can surely hire someone (an accountant) for this but it is always better to understand it personally.
Money does not grow by itself. You need to place it strategically for it to do so. Start investing as soon as possible. Money in a savings account loses value over time. The average savings account has a very tiny annual percentage yield in comparison to the annual inflation rate. So what can you invest in? Stocks, real estate, cryptocurrency and more.
Pay yourself first:
Don’t save last. Save first and then spend. It is easier if you have a predetermined number and quantity. Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey said it best: “Saving must become a priority, not just a thought. Pay yourself first.”