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23 May 2017Last updated
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How to stay financially healthy

Here are 10 dos and don’ts to stay financially healthy

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9 Jan 2017 | 04:40 pm
  • Source:iStock

This year’s resolution should be to have a secure grip on finances. It can take years of experience to develop adequate financial habits, but the paybacks are valuable. As the adage goes: How I live tomorrow is how I invest today. Here are 10 dos and don’ts to stay financially healthy.

Dos

Research

While planning finance, do comprehensive research for long-term success. Look around and explore opportunities depending on your need.

Stick to a budget

Trouble begins when overspending starts. Plan your financial future and stick to the plan. Adopt a saving mantra: when you know what you want, it’s time to set aside some money. The earlier you start, the better. It can also motivate you to explore new financial instruments.

Pay off your credit card

That should be your prime objective every month. Lack of attention here can damage credit performance and ruin fiscal growth.

Establish a rainy day fund

Plan ahead for any unforeseen event. Set aside a corpus of six months of daily expenses for an unexpected emergency.

Review your insurance

Merely buying an insurance policy is not an end, but perceptively scheming it and reviewing it at regular intervals is more important. Having a track of investment strategies and calculating the ultimate objective of that plan is imperative to maintain the healthy financial platform. Keep in mind insurance needs change as life changes during significant events.

Diversify your investment

Diversification in investment portfolio protects you from losing all your assets in a sensitive situation. Having multiple investment attitudes would create new horizons to accomplish the target faster. Set up automatic savings. Once we automate the process, we are safer, as it is the easiest way to grow the money. Create a consistent savings’ mechanism with your saving or investment account, as it will safeguard the money and will lead towards the longer-term goals.

Have a check on credit score: to avail credit from financial lenders keep a close watch on your credit movement. Retirement saving: It is critical to plan for retirement. Designate part of the salary towards that deposit. And the way saving works, it’s better to do it earlier. By age 40, if you haven’t started saving before, you ought to save almost twice as much compared to those who start at 30.

Don’ts

Don’t chase yield

Have patience whenever you are investing, whether it is stock market or asset-based investment. It’s recommended to stay composed and carry on with the long-term investment strategies and wait for the right time to capitalise on investment.

Don’t spend more than you’re earning

Ideally, download a mobile app to record expense and income as this could act as a tracker to monitor the daily cash management. Don’t pay high interest: with higher interest rates, you lose more money. So preferably, if the investment returns are lower than the borrowing cost, settle the high-interest loans with the funds available so that the net cost could be brought down at an optimal level.

Don’t spend recklessly

Replace this habit with an honest financial plan. Use the amount from your income that you might spend on yourself for debt freedom. With a watch on your spending, one can save more.

Don’t skip saving

Money will be needed in the future for unforeseeable reasons, so set aside a fixed amount and ensure to regularly deposit to your saving pool to secure a financial future.

Don’t get into debt

Always be realistic. Draw a financial plan and work out what you can afford; this will help to draw a line to avoid debt when you are planning finances. Keeping a close watch on your lifestyle and cash management would prevent you from falling into a debt trap.

Don’t ignore advice

Keep in mind, your financial advisor is similar to your doctor. Be honest with him/her and seek guidance when needed especially to keep you updated with new products available in the financial market.

Don’t ignore core responsibility

For a stable financial life, prioritise financial commitments as this will help form prudent spending choices. Insignificant spending decisions you carry out now will certainly impact the financial security in the future.

Don’t exceed credit limit and pay on time

Avoid spending above the given limit and schedule your credit card payment on time to maintain the credit score performance.

Also, try to ensure that you keep the repayment of full settlement on the utilised limit, as this would evade falling into the trap of interest or profit repayment of the balance amount.

Don’t forget to revisit your financial plan in the future

Even the best financial plan needs to be amended as life progresses. Check in at least every other year to be sure that your goals are still pertinent and that you’re still on track to realise them.

FR_240716_Dhiren_Gupta_AIZA7

Dhiren Gupta

is a Dubai-based finance and real estate advisor