According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MSPI), there are more than 422 million young people in India. And, at the dawn of every new year, nearly every one of these individuals make a resolution. Whatever reason they start these resolutions, it's safe to assume that they are all hoping to change their life for the better.
So, we'll go out on a limb and give you a list of financial resolutions to mull over and choose for the fast-approaching new year.
1. Spend less, save more!
With all the handsome propositions our capitalistic world has to offer-gadgets, vehicles, luxury holidays, et al- it's easy to be overwhelmed and often to forget that some things just aren't in our budget. And it would be financially reckless of you to go on spending all your monthly income. Instead, take a more disciplined approach and control the way you spend.
To start off, follow this simple mantra: "Always spend less than you earn every month", as it could help you get away from a debt trap, to begin with and will also help you get more to spend, if need be.
2. Get a health insurance
As per a WHO survey, as many as 85% of Indians pay for their healthcare expenses out of their own pocket. The money they spend is about 2.7% of the overall GDP of our $3-odd trillion worth economy. Now, just to get a clear idea, let's assume India's GDP is exactly $3 trillion, the out-of-pocket expense on health would be equal to $81 billion. This money people spend would often be earmarked for better things in their lives, but due to the emergency people would have had to use it all to take care of their immediate health complications.
A better way to solve this issue would be to use a health insurance policy. These days they are available at extremely affordable prices and will offer coverage against pretty much every illness known to man. So, having yourself invested in a health plan will save you loads of money in case disaster strikes. Also, opt for a few top-up plans along with your policy to increase the scope of your coverage.
3. Invest in the right product
In case you have been living under a rock for a while, you should know that the investment market in India has boomed massively over the last decade or so. While FDs and Savings Accounts were the rage a few years ago, mutual funds and other risk-related investments have taken over now. This isn't to mean that there isn't anything on offer for the risk averse, there are plenty of options for them to consider too. For instance, the PPF, FDs and Savings Accounts are still largely used by people, albeit the returns offered have largely diminished. Anyways, whether you like taking risks or not, find the right product to investment in and secure the future of your loved ones as well as yours. While you are at it, invest in a long-term plan, and save it just for a time closest to your retirement to live a stress-free life.
4. Start keeping track of your expenses
There's a tool or a calculator for just about everything these days, with some of the results bordering on the mind-boggling category. You don't need to get into all of that, all we're telling you is to start tracking your expenses so that you don't end up scratching your head wondering when or where you spent your money. A simple search on your phone's app store would give you plenty of tools with loads of customised features. Make sure to check a few of them out, install one right away and get started on a better financial year ahead.
5. Use your Credit Card wisely
Getting a credit card is extremely easy nowadays. All you've got to do is log on to a lender's website and fill out a form. A short week later, you'll end up with a card that offers you a limit that'd surprise you.
When a credit card is available this effortlessly, the urge to spend will obviously be at a tipping point, and it's often hard to resist. So, do the next best thing; maintain discipline and limit yourself to only one major expense every few months. Saw a smartphone you just need to have? Get one right away and store your card away for a while. This way using your credit card wisely will improve your lifestyle significantly while also keeping you away from falling into a vicious debt trap.
6. Donate for a cause
It's easy for the young, hardworking people to forget that there's always a world out there, when you aren't busy living yours. One way to acknowledge the outside world would be to invest in a cause you believe. Whether it is for a pet adoption centre, an NGO, or to fund a child's education. Set aside just a small amount of money to change someone's life for the better. While you may feel whatever you offer is a rather small amount, it still would be enough to help a person going through a lot of hardships.
7. Invest in yourself
Sometimes, investing time and money in oneself can offer up some startling results - both on a physical and mental level. So, if you've always felt that you should learn a particular skill or a language, or any such thing that caught your fancy. You should definitely go for it. Most of us these days live within our comfort zone and don't tend to break out of it in search of new experiences. This doesn't just limit our lives, this also limits our potential. So, invest in yourself - both money and time - and explore sides of yourself you haven't had the time to before.