Getting Financial Plan
While everyone is different, there are common circumstances of life that affect personal finance concerns and thus affect everyone's financial planning. Factors that affect personal financial concerns are family structure, health, career choices, and age. The logical first step to financial planning is to set financial goals, which will define your future dreams. Your financial goals could even include funding for children's education or saving for their marriages. Then there could be goals that have some time to go like buying a house five years later and your own retirement in, say 2035. Once you have identified and prioritized your financial goals, the plan will help you develop a clear-cut-savings or investment strategy than can help turn your dreams into reality.
Drawing up a plan
The first part of putting any financial plan into action requires you to control your flow of money. A budget tracks your income and expenses, and helps you direct the flow in the way you want it to go. Expenses can be broken down into four categories. Household expenses are those you have to pay, such as rent, groceries, utilities etc. Life style expenses are more optional items, such as eating out, entertainment, gifts, and vacations. Dependent expenses are those you have to pay for limited term such as children's upbringing, schooling, and contribution to parents/ siblings etc. Loan servicing are covered all loan payments such as car EMI, Home loan EMI, credit card EMI and other personal loans EMI.
A saving plan is an essential part of your financial plan. Without a saving plan, you will not be able to achieve your financial goals. We suggest that you save at least 25 percent of your salary every month. Remember that the more you save now the easier it would be to achieve your financial goals. Next we suggest ways in which you can deploy this savings into instruments which will make it grow, which is basically investing. Do factor in the axiom 'higher the return', higher the risk' while selecting the instrument in which you will invest to achieve your financial goals.
Having put the plan to action, you next need to be disciplined to follow the advice of investing towards each of the goals. This way, your investments will be mapped for the appropriate goals, which in turn ensure that the plan to achieve your goals is on track. Ideally, you should evaluate the progress made by your investments to achieve the financial goals at least once a year to understand how the investments are faring. Such analysis also gives you the opportunity to make any changes to your investments or restructure your plan if need be.
As your approach closer to each of your financial goals, say a couple of years before they materialize, you should start moving money from equities to more stable debt-type of instruments. This way, you will not be impacted by any major impact to the stock markets, which are far more volatile and can upset your best laid plans. As is with all our advice and suggestions, follow a tax efficient strategy to savings and investments, which will make your plan work a lot better and within the risk that you can take.