How to Improve your Personal Finance During Lockdown?

May 29, 2020

There is no fit-to-all formula for managing personal finances. Some people live a frugal life despite being blessed with a healthy income, some have no choice due to family expenses. Some people indulge in unnecessary expenses and have  poor savings, some have an endless pool of funds and thereby live a life king-size. Mindsets are varied and so are scenarios in each household. In times like today, when an unexpected virus has engulfed our lives and brought the whole world to a halt, one is compelled to rethink lifestyles and habits of spending money. It has given rise to an opportunity to make one think about how to improve personal finances.

1) Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is one of the wisest moves towards healthy financial status. It is damaging to carry multiple loans, outstanding credit cards, etc. This is a recipe for financial trouble. This is where personal loans can step in to help. All your outstanding balances get consolidated into a single monthly payment. This helps in working towards a timeframe and in planning monthly expenses. The biggest benefit in taking this step is to achieve lower interest rates. Fullerton India’s personal loan EMI calculator is available online so that you can get clarity on the outgoing amounts.

2) Unplanned Emergency Expenses

A personal loan can come as a boon if faced with an unexpected emergency of a medical nature. At such a time, instead of dipping into your savings, a personal loan gives you the flexibility of being able to use the funds for whatever expense that you may face. Fullerton India’s personal loan for medical emergencies offers an extremely attractive interest rate, which can be as low as 11.99%. You can fill up the form online by uploading the documents. Once your loan is approved, you can get funds up to INR 25 lakhs within 24 hours*.

Must Read: How Much Personal Loan Can I Get?

3) Life Insurance

Adequacy of life and health insurance is one of the first checks to be done. You should buy a health cover and a life cover for yourself and your family, which should be in line with your lifestyle. You should not depend on the insurance coverage provided by your employer. At such times when the jobs and industries are both at risk, it is imperative to safeguard your life as well as that of your family. Secondly, during these uncertain times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis caused by the lockdown, insurance policies may actually be some of the safest investment tools available. They not only help you secure your future, but also provide you with tax benefits.

4) Savings

No matter how old you are, it is always a good idea to create some savings so that in difficult times, you will have a comfortable nest egg to fall back on. Starting with saving at least 20% of your income in the initial years of your career / work, this amount should steadily increase as you grow older. A very good way to do this is to assess your lifestyle periodically and prioritise your expenses. The amount you save can be invested in safe, flexible instruments such as fixed / recurring deposits.

5) Smart Investments

Investing your hard earned money smartly with a view towards the long term future is also yet another exercise which you should start as early as possible. Here are some good instruments (in increasing order of risk).

  1. Retirement policies
  2. Mutual funds - Depending on your risk appetite, you can choose to invest in debt funds, equity funds, or mixed funds. However, do remember that mutual funds are subject to market risks
  3. EPF / NPS schemes
  4. Term plans / ULIPs
  5. Bonds / stocks of established companies with a good history of increasing profits and steady market performance
  6. Fixed assets such as a house / flat sold by a trusted builder with all paperwork and located in a good urban area.

No matter what instrument you choose, please ensure that you choose a financial partner which is recognised, has a strong brand name in the market, and is known for its transparent procedures. Please also ensure that you read the T&Cs carefully before investing.

Comprehensive Financial Review

An exhaustive financial check gives you a reality check. It highlights the gap between where you are and where you need to be. There are tools online and in-person reviews with professional advisors who can aid you with this. During this process, you can re-budget your goals. Budgeting is the key to make your personal finance work in order. If budgeting is not right, there is no meaning to your personal finances. With an unplanned budget, investing for your financial goal stands meaningless. You must check your expenses and save up for the rainy day. While re-assessing your financial plan, you may also clean up demat accounts, investments, check nominations, etc.

Conclusion

These are some of the ways you can certainly enhance personal finances. Personal finance goes a long way. It not only needs a lot of work, but also for you to review periodically and strategize based on circumstances. You may also seek advice from a trusted financial partner or advisor in case you have any other questions.

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