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Set a Goal Before You Invest

Set a Goal Before You Invest

Investments get a huge hug these days though people seldom approach it with the transparency it deserves. Most of them jump into it without realising what they are diving into.

Remember, a lack of vision or a will spoils the entire process of investment defeating the purpose behind it – financial freedom.

Even if you are financially stable, setting a goal before you invest helps you gain better stability of your finances. If the investment is done in alignment with the goal, investor will have a clear answer on why he/she is investing which is very important.

Into the Future

Take for instance the case of a 30 year old man having a two year old kid. While investing, he must set the goal of 15 years when his two year old kid will be taking up a professional course. For example, if the course requires 10 lakhs to complete presently, calculate how much it grows into after 15 years, considering the education fluctuation growth is 6 percent.

This enables him to calculate the amount he should raise after 15 years for his kid’s education.

Investing in products such as SIP (Systematic Investment Plan), gradually increasing the amount on a monthly basis, helps in reaching the target money easily in 15 years.

Investments during the period of financial stability with a specific purpose or goal in hand helps you become confident to take risks in future such as venturing into business. This is why it is always important to invest based on a specific goal. If you are finding it difficult to materialise this financial planning all by yourself, you can always seek the help of a professional who will help you invest based on the set goal or the target money.

Investments for the sake of it do no good. So set a clear goal and seek financial freedom.

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Financial Freedom: Things to know

Financial Freedom: Things to know

Attaining financial freedom must be a dream for anybody. People toil taking up unpleasant jobs only to be at peace with life eventually.  It is this longing for stress free life that tempts even younger ones to go on planning their retirement. But it’s not the retirement but the financial stability that they should aim at. So, when do you achieve financial freedom and what can be done to accelerate it.  Let us discuss in brief here about financial freedom and the steps that can be taken to speed up the process.

Aim Freedom

All of us will have lifestyle expenses or necessity expenses. When money earned from investments or returns from accumulated assets on a monthly basis becomes sufficient to meet one’s necessity expenses then one has attained Financial Freedom.

The point to be noted here is to attain this financial freedom, apart from having a passive income, one’s active income should exceed the necessity expenses or the lump sum money must be more so that he/she will not be dependent on active income.

Focus on Passive Income

Most people focus on active income which includes remunerations, rates etc. or any money you generate from a job or from selling a commodity in business. However, apart from this, if people are able to generate money from passive income on a monthly basis, they will be able to lead a stress free life. The various ways in which passive income is generated is

  • Rental from your house or property
  • Returns from a YouTube video you uploaded; an amount which you receive on a recurring basis
  • Royalty from a book you wrote
  • Investments from stock or mutual fund
  • Returns from fixed deposit in a bank
  • Profit from a franchisee of your business

Also, paying attention to various do’s and don’t’s with the money you’ve earned can take you several steps closer to the ultimate aim in finance- financial freedom

The biggest takeaway is that one doesn’t have to wait till retirement to attain freedom from finance.

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Do’s and Don’t’s with Money

Do’s and Don’t’s with Money

Money has become a formidable force in our lives. It has controlled us ever since we knew of its power. But there are ways to tame this power if we discipline ourselves to the do’s and don’t’s of it and set a goal before/while investing.

This willful change in money habits on our part will not only save money but will help us enter that path to investments and eventually lead us toward wealth creation- our final destination.

Below listed are three do’s and don’t’s each when handling cash.

Let’s begin with the DO’s.

  • Minimal use of credit cards: Many of us these days earn 6-digit figures that make us easily liable to credit card offers from banks. This can be a trap to lure you into the world of spending. Of course it does come with its conveniences, benefits and reward points but the bigger picture is that you will develop a spending habit. That is not where you want to be when you’d rather use your income to save or invest elsewhere.

Also, there is this additional payment of a 2% interest per month in case of delayed bill payments. If you do the math, you’ll see it is 24% per annum which is a very high interest rate if you were to fail paying bills regularly. Is this what you want to be doing with your hard earned money? Think about it !

  • Avoid buying properties through loan: Zero percentage loan payment is the new normal in the banking industry.  This entices people into buying white goods (like washing machines, mobile phones etc) through EMIs. Now the downside to this is that if you were to make payment through EMI rather than with cash, you are missing the discount of 10-20% on the M.R.P which you’d have received otherwise. Also and more importantly, this method of buying items when you don’t have the cash while you have the convenience of a loan will only add to your spending habit.

The concept of leverage doesn’t profit you. All you earn from leverages is DEBT. After all, you’ve borrowed money. There will be payback time. Why go after DEBT when be content with buying items with REAL earned money like in the good old times?

  • Buy within your affordable means:

This is very much in relation to our previous point. Simply put, it means if you don’t have the cash to buy that house then you just don’t buy it. If you don’t have the cash to buy that car then you just don’t buy it. If you don’t have the cash to do that trip then you just don’t do it. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the best way to stay clear of debt.

The Do’s.

  • Keep a journal of your expenses and income: Keeping track of your money’s journey is essential so you know where you stand in the larger scheme of things. You can either use journals or do it digitally. Several mobile phone apps are available for such purposes. Stay in touch with your money on a weekly/monthly basis.

Also, when you do note down your expenses for the day, keep aside columns that classify the nature of your spending- was it a need or a want? This further aids in providing you clarity on your financial status.

To give an instance, smoking cigarettes on a daily basis is also consumption of your money. How many packs do you smoke a day? How much does each pack cost? How many packs can you cut down in a day so you save a certain amount per month? For a year? Go do the math and you’ll see the difference.

  • Create a Budget: Plan out your cash flow and see that you spend within the budget you’ve created for yourself. For your money. No LOANS. No CREDIT CARDS. No DEBT.
  • Keep all your Savings and Investments automated: You can always leave a standing instruction with your bank on transferring funds to a not-so-active bank account of yours or a Mutual Fund or SIP scheme (Systematic Investment Planning) for investment and saving purposes.

If saving a part of your monthly income for a short term is what is on your mind then liquid fund asset classes are a good scheme to look into for a period of 6 months to a year. It is a highly secured form of investment.

But if you are looking at long term investment schemes of 5 years and beyond, you can always count on equity based asset classes. Patience is a virtue in these matters. Making quick money isn’t the same as making real money.

So, to keep it disciplined you can segregate the monthly automated amount into savings and investment. This will give you a better idea on your financial status when you want to check upon it.

Following these Do’s and Don’t’s seem like a hard task, almost impossible in this day and age. But let’s assure you that it is anything but that.

Keep yourself financially disciplined and you shall reap the benefits of the change you’ve made.

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