New Year greetings!
The holiday season might be over. You sigh as you listlessly get back to your daily routine, reflecting longingly at all the fun and frolic during your New Year revelry. But hey, the thrill is not over yet! There is the glorious prospect of a whole new year ahead and the plentiful resolutions for you to uphold!
Ouch! The last bit hurts. Upholding New Year resolutions are similar to spotting rainbows. They appear on a whim, colourful and beautiful to look at, and linger fleetingly before becoming a distant memory.
Let’s face it, most resolutions are not met because they are impossible to achieve. They are made devoid of practicality, or feasibility. However, there is no need for you to feel dispirited. There is a simple way for you to make attainable New Year resolutions.
Begin by asking yourself what are your actual life goals in the next few years? Once these are set in stone, you can chart a path on how to achieve each of these goals. Keep yearly milestones. These milestones become your totally attainable resolutions which you can carry forward into the next year as well.
Achieving your desired life goals necessitates sound financial planning. So, whether it’s buying a house in 5 years or a Caribbean cruise or going bungee jumping in Manali, your financial health needs to be robust. Thus, it makes logical sense for your yearly resolutions to be centered around your personal savings and investment strategies.
Financial planning is not as difficult as it sounds. Done the right way, it can be a lot of fun! Hence, in the light of this, here are 3 New Year resolutions every individual should definitely make to realize their life goals:
Follow the 60-10-10-20 mantra!
Your utilities’ bill, house rent, groceries, EMIs and other necessary expenses should take a maximum of 60 percent of your monthly salary. Keep 10 percent of your salary as an emergency fund in your bank account, which ideally, you should have to touch only in the rarest of circumstances (as the name suggests).
All your leisure activities, like a weekly fancy dinner, or hitting the pub with friends or going for a movie should be covered within another 10 percent of your monthly salary. This leaves you with 20 percent every month, which you will invest in making your life goals a reality. More on this below!
Take a pause and reflect on whether your current expenditure fits in this pattern. If your monthly expenditure (both necessary and leisure) has been within 70 percent of your salary then your spending seems to be on track. Else, either your job does not pay you enough or your lifestyle is not proportionate to the income you generate.
Start tracking your expenses
Tracking your daily expenses might be a tedious and tiresome task. So, stick to doing it on a weekly basis. This will give you a sound idea as to the nature and quantity of your spending.
Your tracking process can be rough. You do not need to detail every rupee you spend, such as buying a 10-rupee chewing gum pack. Just slot them into miscellaneous expenses. But an expensive dinner, or a night out bar hopping needs to be accounted for and so does your fixed monthly bills.
Tracking ensures that you stay on track to follow the 60-10-10-20 mantra. Track religiously and you will derive satisfaction from the fact that you are able to cut out unwanted expenses, and save and invest a lot more money.
Invest the 20 percent wisely into various mutual fund portfolios!
You know your goals. It is now prudent that your investment strategies are aligned perfectly to help realize these goals. Categorize your goals into short, medium and long-term and invest accordingly. Diversify your portfolios by making use of the various types of mutual funds investment options available in the market.
Short-term goals – If you wish to buy a bike in the next few months or a high-end watch or a laptop, you can invest part of your savings into a liquid fund. Liquid funds are short-duration funds which give decent returns and are subjected to minimal market volatility making them safe and stable.
Mid-Term goals – If you are planning for your dream vacation in Europe in the next 2-3 years, then a monthly Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is ideal. You can start your SIP with as low as Rs 500 a month and link it to equity mutual funds. You receive compounded returns on your investment, resulting in swift swelling of your monetary corpus in a reasonably short period of time.
Long-Term Goals – If you want to purchase a house in the next 5 years, ideally you should park a large corpus of money, also called lumpsum investments, in a mutual fund. This way you will earn much higher returns than a fixed deposit and not be tempted to touch this large pool of money during the period of investment.
Investment in ELSS funds – If you are unsure of your goals and want to make a New Year resolution anyway, start investing in a tax-saving Equity-Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS). ELSS investments should be a norm for any working professional. You can save up to Rs 45k in taxes yearly.
Center your New Year resolutions along the above lines and you will be on course to achieve your life goals. Derive pleasure and satisfaction from making attainable and sustainable resolutions which turn into lifelong habits. So why wait any longer? Start acting on these resolutions now and make 2019 as the year which sets the platform to help realize your dreams.