Are you one who will put off what you can do today till tomorrow. Are you in a habit of promising to do something today and went on with your daily routine and forget about what you have agreed to do?
Take note that sometimes putting off things you can do today till tomorrow might be detrimental to your financial health.
Here is a simple 3-questions checklist for you. Do not procrastinate any further. Use them to get your personal finance and life in order before any regrets:-
- Have you put up a financial budget yet?
- Have you put away an emergency fund yet?
- Have you taken care of your financial succession plan yet?
A Lifetime Checklist
1. Have you put up a financial budget yet?
It is important to plan your life and financially, a budget is important for anyone who is above 18 years of age. If you are 18, you are qualified to have your own personal budget. You may not have a permanent job yet but while you are studying you will still have to survive on a budget; be it an allowance given you by your parents or funds you have borrowed to take you on your pursuing journey and/or additionally you may do some part time job to supplement your monthly fund.
Plan out your expenses now and ensure that you go by planned budget and stick to your plan. You may be surprised that you might have left over after some careful budgeting. Put that immediately into an investment plan.
If you are already working, you would probably have done a budget for yourself. Are you on target with your budget? Have you revised your budget thus far? Remember, after a while, you budget plan may be outdated. Your needs may outgrow your budget so work on updating your budget every now and again to keep up with your lifestyle.
The essence of budgeting is to know where your money is going. Do not fear that you may see what you do not want to see by putting up a budget. You can only put in order what you can see. By putting up a budget will help you put your finances in order.
2. Have you put away an emergency fund yet?
Emergency happens to everyone at one time of our life or another. You have to be prepared and ready for such an occurrence; like temporary losing your job or a sickness in the family etc.
Decide on the amount you may require in case of such situation. You may want to put aside 3 to 6 months of your salary as an emergency fund. This fund should be set aside and should not be part of your expense budget. Take care to put it somewhere where it is earning you money yet can be liquidated easily during your need.
Having set aside an Emergency Fund will help put your mind at ease to get on with your daily life.
3. Have you taken care of your financial succession plan yet?
a. Retirement Fund
For Malaysians, we have our EPF, while the Americans, their 401K and Singaporeans, CPF. These are funds we contribute to in preparation for our retirement on a monthly basis while we are still working. Our employers are required (some countries by law) to pay an equivalent amount usually 10 to 12% of the basic salary.
Be aware of such benefits as soon as you start to work. If you are not receiving this, check it out with your employer. There may be some loop holes to avoid paying employee their due by employing them on a daily rate. Check this out in your own country and ensure that you bargain for this before signing any employment contract. This is a huge part of your retirement plan.
Keep track of your funds by requesting for a yearly statement and know how your funds are doing. Are you been fairly rewarded by leaving them with these organizations? If you are not satisfied with the fund earnings, check out where you can put your funds to achieve better rewards.
Have you assigned your beneficiaries yet? You may have done it years ago before you have a family of your own. Do take time to check this out and do your re-assignment as soon as possible.
b. Written A Will?
Accidents may happen. Sickness may happen to anyone who may be healthy today, so it is important for everyone to have a will done. Do not wait till you are 45 to do this. Your will can be changed as you advanced in age and as and when you want it to change.
Majority of people procrastinate to writing a will as they usually avoid talking about the subject of death. If you are borne, you will eventually die, the problem here is you do not know when you will die. This is the reason why you have to write up a will now.
Go to a lawyer to write up a simple will, it will not cost you more than a few hundred dollars. At least you know where your money will go when you are dead.
c. Bought a Life Insurance?
Have you insured your life against any eventuality? Getting yourself insured is more cost effective when done at a younger age. You don’t have to go for the fanciful packages. Get a simple life plan with critical illnesses. If you can afford it, an additional hospitalisation plan would be good but most organisation insure you for this. You have to assign your beneficiary for this as well.
These may just be 3 simple questions. If your answers are “YES” to all, very good, your financial health is in order but if your answers are “NO” for all or any one of them, my advice is to get to it right away. AIM TO LIVE A CAREFREE LIFE!!