Personal Finance Concept Photo: India Times

15 Top investment tips to gain financial intelligence during pandemic

*Experts say setting a knockout personal budget even amid the COVID-19 pandemic is the starting point for every other goal in consumers’ life now

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

A firm has certainly amassed a wealth of knowledge over the years covering the money beat—be it the dozens of “I got out of debt” success stories it’s featured to the scores of psychological studies it’s covered linking better financial decision-making to behaviour change.

It is believed there is no better time than now to highlight the following 15 top money tips into one juicy, super-helpful read.

From the best ways to budget to how to boost your earning potential like a pro, these nuggets of financial wisdom are as fresh as the day they were published, courtesy of LearnVest, a leading site for personal finance. Here are a few financial basics:

  1. Create a financial calendar

If you don’t trust yourself to remember to pay your quarterly taxes or periodically pull a credit report, think about setting appointment reminders for these important money to-dos in the same way that you would an annual doctor’s visit or car tune-up. A good place to start? Get a financial calendar.

  1. Check your interest rate

Q: Which loan should you pay off first? A: The one with the highest interest rate. Q: Which savings account should you open? A: The one with the best interest rate. Q: Why does credit card debt give us such a headache? A: Blame it on the compound interest rate. Bottom line here: Paying attention to interest rates will help inform which debt or savings commitments you should focus on.

  1. Track your net worth

Your net worth—the difference between your assets and debt—is the big-picture number that can tell you where you stand financially. Keep an eye on it, and it can help keep you apprised of the progress you’re making toward your financial goals—or warn you if you’re backsliding.

  1. Set a budget, period

This is the starting point for every other goal in your life. Here’s a checklist for building a knockout personal budget.

  1. Consider an all-cash diet

If you’re consistently overspending, this will break you out of that rut. Don’t believe us? The cash diet changed the lives of these three people.

  1. Allocate at least 20 percent of your income toward financial priorities

By priorities, we mean building up emergency savings, paying off debt, and padding your retirement nest egg. Seem like a big percentage? Here’s why we love this number.

  1. Budget about 30 percent of your income for lifestyle spending

This includes movies, restaurants, and happy hours—basically, anything that doesn’t cover basic necessities. By abiding by the 30 percent rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.

  1. Draft a financial vision board

You need motivation to start adopting better money habits, and if you craft a vision board, it can help to remind you to stay on track with your financial goals.

  1. Set specific financial goals

Use numbers and dates, not just words, to describe what you want to accomplish with your money. How much debt do you want to pay off—and when? How much do you want saved, and by what date?

  1. Adopt a spending mantra

Pick out a positive phrase that acts like a mini rule of thumb for how you spend.

  1. Love yourself

Sure, it may sound corny, but it works. Just ask this author, who paid off $20,000 of debt after realising that taking control of her finances was a way to value herself.

  1. Make bite-size money goals

One study showed that the farther away a goal seems, and the less sure we are about when it will happen, the more likely we are to give up.

So, in addition to focusing on big goals (say, buying a home), aim to also set smaller, short-term goals along the way that will reap quicker results—like saving some money each week in order to take a trip in six months.

  1. Banish toxic money thoughts

A self-fulfilling prophecy! If you psych yourself out before you even get started (“I’ll never pay off debt!”), then you’re setting yourself up to fail. So don’t be a fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.

  1. You can negotiate more than just your salary

Your work hours, official title, maternity and paternity leave, vacation time, and which projects you’ll work on could all be things that a future employer may be willing to negotiate.

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