2 Feb - 7 min read
The lunar new year is just around the corner, and with it, also comes hope and anticipation for a fresh new start considering the challenges that 2020 has presented us with, especially financially. That being said, while the lunar new year celebration may be different this year – it will still be an auspicious one as we turn the new page with lessons learned to better manage our personal finances.
Let’s start with 5 money tips that will lead you to more “huat” in this year of ox!
Debts, commitments, and liabilities are among many other financial factors that you should consider before you plan to grow your wealth. There may be late payments or missed payments you did not realise, which could prevent you from growing further. On the other hand, there is also a saying that goes “Out with the old, in with the new”. By assessing your past financial tracks, it will help you to identify your bad financial habits so you can improve them with good new habits this year.
To assess your financial status, begin by checking your credit score. Established companies that provide credit checking services will usually provide you with a comprehensive report on your overall financial commitments and behaviour. After knowing your credit score, you can now benchmark your progress accordingly and start moving forward.
If you have been budgeting but often find yourself still struggling with your finances at the end of the month – you might want to revisit your budgeting method. If you haven’t already, now could be a good time to sit down and start applying the SMART method to your budgeting.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based – all of which your financial goals should be. By setting your financial goals as specific as possible, you will see that they are now easy to measure. Besides that, keep in mind that your goals should also be attainable and realistic in ways that you have the ability and resources to actually achieve them. Making your goals time-based will allow you to track your progress in achieving them and naturally motivate you to keep ongoing.
For example, instead of “I will save more, so I can be rich”, your SMART budget should be:
“I want to save RM40,000 in 3 years by saving RM1,100 every month so that I can use it as a downpayment for my dream home.”
It’s no secret that rewards can be a great motivation to push ourselves into achieving certain goals. Besides setting your financial goals the SMART way, you can also try rewarding yourself differently. Instead of rewarding yourself with items that only give you short term gratification, choose to reward yourself with items or experience that add value to your life.
For example, if you are a shoe lover who falls into the habit of impulse purchasing just because of its attractive design – but with low quality that can last only a few months of wear – choose to reward yourself with high-quality designer shoes that will last for years. Not only that it will motivate yourself to achieve your SMART financial goals, you will also get to save more out of your purchase as high-quality items tend last longer compared to items that are cheap but require constant replacement.
Besides physical rewards, treating your loved ones their favourite meals or signing yourself up for a course that you have always wanted to participate in are also some of the rewarding experiences that will bring value to your life.
Do you save what’s left of your monthly income only after spending it on your daily purchases?
While there is nothing wrong with it – but chances are that by the end of the month, you would have overspent it with not much left to save. This can be overcome by treating your savings as one of the mandatory commitments you make every month.
As soon as you receive your monthly salary – keep it in mind to pay yourself first. Motivate yourself by envisioning your ideal future be it in marriage, your children’s future, or even your ideal retirement. Once you have paid yourself, adjust your spending accordingly to what’s left of your salary to last you throughout the remaining days of the month. Not only that it will indefinitely help you save, it will also help encourage you to be more disciplined with your finances and spend more wisely.
When it comes to saving for retirement, many working Malaysians would relate it to Employees Provident Fund (EPF). But besides relying only on EPF to grow your retirement savings, there are also other great supplementary options that you can consider investing in.
On the other hand, you can also consider potentially growing your retirement savings via EPF i-Invest, an online platform which lets you “DIY” your investment by allowing you to invest your retirement savings directly in your preferred funds according to your risk appetite. When you choose to invest by yourself via EPF i-Invest, you get to enjoy 0% sales charge, until 30 April 2021, which helps you maximise your investment capital.
Principal EPF i-Invest is offering its seasonal Huat Ah! promotion from 25 January to 28 February 2021 for new and existing Principal EPF i-Invest investors, where you can earn up to 0.88%* reward of your total investment with Principal EPF i-Invest with a minimum investment of RM1,000 by inserting the campaign code “HuatAh” via EPF i-Invest!
With Principal EPF i-invest, it is literally investment at your fingertips as you can now conveniently invest online as all procedures are done digitally. Most importantly, all funds available via Principal EPF i-Invest are approved by EPF with 0% sales charge, so you can choose the funds that you would like to invest in according to your risk appetite and geographical preference.
Nevertheless, it’s important to keep in mind that while investment may bring higher returns, they are not guaranteed and could differ every year with a certain level of risk. Previous years’ performances do not guarantee and are not indicative of future performances. Should you decide to invest, ensure that you know what you are investing in as well as the risk that you are willing to take.
We hope that the 5 tips above will help you manage your finances better this year and ultimately, bring more huat into your lives! Besides that, the lunar new year is also the time of togetherness, and while we may not be able to get together due to social distancing measures, as long as you and your loved ones are healthy – that in itself is prosperous!
In the meantime, if you would like to know more about Principal EPF i-Invest, you can visit their website here. To participate in the Huat Ah! promotion by Principal EPF i-Invest, simply click on this link here.
You are advised to read and understand the Prospectus/Information memorandum/Disclosure Document dated and its Product Highlight Sheet (if any) which may be obtained at our offices, distributors or our website at [www.principal.com.my]. You are advised to read and understand the contents of the relevant documents. Investing involves risk and cost. You should understand the risks involved, compare and consider the fees, charges and costs involved, make your own risk assessment and seek professional advice, where necessary. This advertisement had not been reviewed by the SC.
Where past performance is quoted, the past performance of a fund should not be taken as indicative of its future performance.
The documents have been registered and/or lodged with Securities Commission Malaysia. Registration of these documents does not amount to nor indicate that the SC has recommended or endorsed this product or service.
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