Keeping track of finance

Standard Chartered Bank

All the advice that your grandparents, parents and teachers told you about money was worth its weight in gold. As young children and adults, sometimes the wise advice that was administered to you at that young age did not seem to matter, but now more than ever as a maturing adult, it makes more sense.

A IS FOR ADVICE

Heeding good advice never hurts especially when it’s free. As you begin your relationship with your bank, it is also good to get professional, financial advice on your finances, balancing it with sensible advice coming from your immediate family members or close friends.

B IS FOR BUDGETING

Whatever your plans are, to buy a big purchase or just going grocery shopping – make a budget around it. There is no event or activity too small that you cannot budget for. Setting a budget gives you added discipline to ensure that you spend only within your means, and will give you a greater sense of control over your money. It will also help you to make sure you are not spending out of control over unnecessary items.

C IS FOR CASHFLOW

Managing our cashflow sounds complicated but in essence it is not. Basically it just means that you manage your income every month so that you have enough cash for all your needs which include your monthly utility bills, essential spending and savings. When your cashflow starts going into negative every month and you find that you have to reach for credit to sustain your lifestyle, then it means you may very well be living out of your means. You will have to make adjustments to your lifestyle so that your cashflow can go back into the positive range.

D IS FOR DEBT MANAGEMENT

Not all forms of debt are bad. However, when your debt starts becoming a burden and you are finding it hard to make your repayments, you have a debt problem which needs to be addressed immediately. Consolidating your debt with your bank will help with repayments, but once you have sought assistance to consolidate, you will still need to stay on top of managing your debt by ensuring that you do not continue to incur unnecessary debt – this is the most important factor. If you continue with bad spending habits or bad financial decisions that got you into debt in the first place, then your debt consolidation solutions will have been short lived and will not have made a difference to your problems.

E IS FOR EDUCATION

Education does not end when you leave school, college or university. It is an on-going process. Continuously educate yourself on finance savvy topics. Educating yourself on finances does not mean that you suddenly need to understand what all the jargon on the TV financial programmes mean. You can start with small easy steps, for example, familiarising yourself with your bank and asking them about less complex investment products or even just being more aware about finance charges and how interest is calculated. By learning something new every now and then about finances, you could learn some new tips or tricks on how to save or invest your money.

F IS FOR FINANCIAL PLANNING

Financial planning is relevant for everyone, no matter if you are rich or poor, young or old. Making plans for your finances can make all the difference in the way you manage your income, your spending and most importantly, reaching your financial goals. You don’t need to be a degree holder in accounting to come up with a financial plan either. As long as you have the drive and motivation to stay disciplined and be honest about your financial standings, you can build wealth and manage your finances just as successfully. Start planning for your financial future by taking pen to paper and listing out your financial goals and how you intend to reach them.

G IS FOR GOALS

Having a financial goal will keep you motivated to stick with the financial plans that you have made to reach them. When temptation comes to sway you from your goals, consider the dent that it could make to your plans to reach your goals. If you can recover comfortably from it to keep you on track, then perhaps you could digress. But if the sacrifice brings you much further away from achieving your goals, perhaps you should not fall prey to it. Keep your goals realistic. If you are aiming to have BND1 million by the age of 40 when you only have BND100 in your savings account now at the age of 34, perhaps you would need a reality check. Having realistic goals that you can achieve will keep you motivated when you finally do achieve it, setting you up for greater heights in your next plan.

This article is for general information purposes only and while the information in it is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by us. You are advised to exercise your own independent judgement with the contents in this article.