Money can be an intimidating subject to discuss across all ages, gender and social status. A discussion on money is often viewed as a taboo; almost in the same breath as religion and politics.
But in order to improve your financial situation, you have to talk about money and face your fear when the discussion veers towards savings, loans and time deposits.
The new year is the best time to have a thorough check-up of your financial condition so you can reach your personal goal of traveling more or fulfill your promise to send your child to a top university.
To be able to achieve all these, here are five financial reminders to take note as you enter the new year:
Keep track of your expenses.
Ask yourself the question: “What are my money habits?” To do that, you have to go back to your account statements and receipts. Sometimes, we don’t realize that what appears to be a financially harmless purchase of a cup of coffee on your way to the office has become a daily habit that has taken a huge chunk in your monthly expenses. You can use budgeting apps to track your expenses. If you prefer to go old school, then go ahead and take out those columnar notebooks and record your expenses using your pencils and pens.
A word of advice though: have lots of courage when you do track your expenses. You will discover truths about your money spending habits that you thought didn’t exist. When you do see the light, be ready to make room for change. You can cut down on that coffee purchase to twice a week instead of five times a week to keep your expenses significantly LOW in the caffeine department.
Open a savings account.
Ask anyone who opened a savings account and they will tell you that the reason behind the decision is to have money for future needs. You do not need to be ultra rich to open a savings account. City Savings Bank, for example, makes opening a savings account easy and affordable. You only need P3,000 to open an account that already comes with a passbook and an ATM card. You just need to ensure that you have P3,000 in your balance to maintain the account and to earn interest.
If you’re a teacher, who just started her job in a public elementary school, then give yourself the gift of opening a savings account. Think of your savings account as your sanctuary from all the temptations brought about by over commercialization and endless discounts and deals offered online. In the future, when you have to take out money for emergency reasons, you will be glad you made this decision.
Change your mindset about loans.
How many of us actually think that loans offered by banks are generally bad and destructive because they make you swim in debts in the long run? A significant number, we suppose. This is because when we think about loans, we think about the “loan sharks,” who excessively charge their clientele with 20% interest rate.
Loans can offer you financial relief, especially in times of need, whether it’s for your or for the ones you love so it is not inherently evil. What needs to be developed is the mindset that if you took a loan, you have the obligation to pay for it and not run away from it.
City Savings Bank offers teacher’s salary loan, pensionado loan and motorcycle loan depending on what your needs are.
Pay off your credit card debt.
Getting out of debt takes a lot of budget planning and perseverance. Self discipline should be in the mix too! With the right mindset and the can-do attitude, it is possible for you to get out of credit card debt. But how to do it when you have multiple cards to tackle? The first step should involve talking to the banks or the institutions. Be honest with your situation and then work out a payment strategy with them. Telling the truth is better than running away from these obligations. If you can’t start the year with a clean slate, then at least you have taken the first step to pay off your debt. If possible, check your budget to see if you can open a savings account while you’re building a financially healthy habit in wealth management.
Think long term.
Money management is not just the now; it has a lot to do with the future. That is why any financial planner or wealth manager will tell you to think long term, to think ahead, to think sustainably. If you have more than enough money that you can set aside for savings, you might want to consider putting your hard-earned cash in time deposit that will give you a higher yield. Check your institutions for the available terms. City Savings Bank offers medium-term (1 and ½ years, 3 years) and short-term (30, 60, 90, 180 days , 1 year) time deposits. A time deposit account will give you higher returns than a regular savings account without the risks that are often associated with stocks or property investments. Go to www.citysavings.com.ph for the complete list of rates and bracket amounts.