How to do financial clean-up in 6 ways

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How to do financial clean-up in 6 waysWhenever we see our house in a mess, we immediately take up activities like dusting and scrubbing until everything is spotless clean. But, unfortunately we don’t follow the same practice when it comes to our finances.

A situation which is financially messy, generally doesn’t grip us unless we are already neck deep in the mess! Now that’s one thing we must all steer clear of. Financial cleaning is one thing that has to be done proactively. Check out these six tips to clean up your finance-related mess and become a pro at managing money!

1. Get a financial planner

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Yes. Get an exclusive planner to organise your finances. Financial planning definitely cannot share space with grocery lists and birthday reminders in your day-to-day planner. Your hard earned money deserves special attention. Use this planner specifically for chalking out the details of your finances. Premium payments, outgoing bills, EMI dates, FD records, etc can be tracked by jotting it down. Organise well and set up a process to track dates and documents. Free your mind space by writing everything in the planner.

2. That important number!

Obviously, we are referring to the CIBIL score! Regularly checking this score should top your list. However, this activity easily gets ignored unless we need to submit the score for evaluation. At that time it’s too late to take any corrective action, if the score is not up to the mark. Checking your CIBIL score regularly gives you a fair idea about how institutions are going to perceive your financial health. In case, you have to apply for a loan in near future, problems which may arise due to the CIBIL score can be resolved in advance. An action plan to improve the score can be drawn and implemented if we track the score regularly.

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3. Clear your debts

List all the debts and then calculate the interest you are currently paying on each one. Also, evaluate for how long you may have to continue to do so. This can be an eye opening activity! You would see that few debts are turning out far too expensive. Figure it out if you can clear any of them in near future and draw an action plan. Re-organising your debt can be a game changer! Pay off those debts and dodge the money black-hole called ‘interest payment’.

4. The magical tool- Budget

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If you don’t have a budget yet, stop everything and do it now! Budgeting helps in limiting expenses. It’s a good idea to have monthly budgets and a review session every quarter. During reviews, check if the budget is helping you in saving and is in-sync with your short and long term financial plans. Riding on a good budget is essential to reach your financial goals.

5. Is you retirement plan on autopilot?

If you answer is ‘yes’ , congratulations! Because at least you have a retirement plan in place! In case you haven’t planned it yet, this is your red flag. Retirement planning is crucial because that’s when you will be reaping the benefits of all the years of hard work. Putting your retirement plan on autopilot is a good way of believing that you are on the right track. Well, hold on! Investments which are a part of the retirement plan need to be re-visited and re-evaluated periodically. How else will you know if the funds are going to be sufficient for a comfortable life? This is a long term plan and definitely calls for smart planning.

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6. Investing time can double your money!

To invest smart and invest better, one should to be aware of various available options. Invest your time in educating yourself. Speak to experts, subscribe to good financial magazines, follow blogs and sign up for updates on finance websites. Knowledge about financial products can help you choose a better product while being aware of the risk involved. That way you will also feel more confident about your finances. As we know, knowledge is the key. Investing time in gaining knowledge will definitely fetch rich dividends. We understand it’s easy to get into a rut in vicious circle of life. But, do not let this block your thought process for coming up with new and creative ways to make more money. See what you are passionate about and find ways to monetise it. It is also important to have a Plan B ready. So have an open mind and develop new revenue streams.

Financial management is all about smart planning and organising.

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(Rajiv Raj is the Director and Co-Founder of www.creditvidya.com)

(Image: Thinkstock)